Amid the recent hullabaloo over Romney finally releasing his tax returns—apparently we are less concerned with the privacy of our political candidates—Americans have learned the extent to Romney's great wealth, estimated between $190-$250 million dollars. However, Aaron Blake at the Washington Post finds that controlling for inflation, in fact George Washington would be the nation's richest president. John F. Kennedy would have beaten that had he inherited his father's nearly a billion dollar fortune, and John Kerry would have even beaten that had he been elected president.
In today's dollars, Washington's net worth would amount to more than $500 million. Thomas Jefferson, as estimated by 24/7 Wall Street , is believed to have been worth $212 million.
Among presidential candidates and primary contenders, John Kerry likely beats out Mitt Romney with a net worth, as disclosed by his 2004 personal financial disclosure report, at $237-312 million; however, including his wife Theresa Heinz Kerry, their combined net worth is as much as $1 billion. Also notably, 1990s third-party candidate Ross Perot has an estimated net worth of $3.58 billion, and former Republican primary contender Steve Forbes is estimated at $450 million, according to a Wealth X study.