How much is Barack Obama worth?

Barack Obama Net Worth

How much is Barack Obama worth?

Barack Obama net worth and salary: Barack Obama is a former Senator from Illinois and the 44th President of the United States. Obama served one term in the Illinois Senate and is the first African American President of the United States.

As if this writing Barack Obama's net worth is $70 million. That is a combined net worth with his wife Michelle Obama. The Obamas were not wealthy for much of their adult lives. They first became millionaires in roughly 2005 thanks to book royalties as Barack entered the political spotlight.

Early Life

Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He is the only US President to date who was born outside of the contiguous 48 states.

His mother was Ann Dunham was of English, German, Swiss, Scottish, Irish and Welsh descent. Ann met  Barack Obama Sr. in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii Manio in 1960 where he had earned a scholarship. Barack Sr., who was from Kenya, was married at the time. Barack and Ann married in 1961. Barack Jr. was born six months later.

Barack Sr. and Ann divorced in 1964, at which point he moved back to Kenya where he married for a third time. Barack Sr. only visited Barack Jr. after moving back to Kenya. He visited his son in Hawaii in 1971 when Barack Jr. was 9 years old. Tragically, Barack Obama Sr. died over Christmas in 1982 in a car accident. Barack Jr. was 21 years old at the time.

In March 1965 Ann married an Indonesian man named Lolo Soetoro. When Lolo's visa extension application was rejected, he returned to Indonesia. Ann and Barack Jr. joined him there in 1967.

Barack was lived in Indonesia until 1971 when he moved back to Honolulu to live with his mother's parents. He attended high school here, graduating in 1979. Ann and Lolo stayed married until 1980.

Unfortunately she died in 1995 after suffering from cancer.

Barack has several half siblings from both his mother and his father.

After graduating from high school in 1979, Barack moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College where he earned a full scholarship.

In 1981 he transferred to Columbia University where he earned a degree in political science with a specialty in international relations. He graduated from Columbia in 1983. He spent one year working as a financial researcher for Business International Corporation, followed by a stint at as a project coordinator for several New York non-profits.

In 1985 Barack moved to Chicago after being hired to work as a director for a non-profit called the Developing Communities Project. He worked there from 1985 to 1988. In 1988 he spent two months traveling the world, including five weeks spent in Kenya where he visited relatives.

In the fall of 1988 Barack enrolled at Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. During summers he returned to Chicago where he continued working as a community organizer. After graduating Obama worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.

Personal Life

In the summer of 1989 Barack was working at a Chicago law firm called Sidley Austin. For three months starting in June, an associate named Michelle Robinson was assigned to be Barack's advisor. They soon began dating and became engaged in 1991. They married on October 3, 1992.

The would eventually have two daughters, Malia Ann, born in 1998 and Natasha “Sasha”, born in 2001.

Rise To Presidency

Outside of teaching, Barack also served as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004, at which point he successfully ran for US Senate. He would serve in the US Senate from 2005 to 2008.

The event that brought Barack national attention was when he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. From that point on he was a rising star in the Democratic party.

Barack announced he was running for President on February 10, 2007. He eventually faced off against Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination. He won the nomination then, with Joe Biden as his Vice President, defeated Jon McCain to win the Presidency.

Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States in November 2008. He took office in January 2009.

Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Net Worth And Book Royalties

Between 1991 and 2004, Barack never earned more than $30,000 for his work as a professor and state representative. The majority of the Obama family income during this time came from Michelle's lucrative salary as a lawyer working primarily for the University of Chicago hospital system.

In 2005 Barack's income jumped to $157,100 when he became a US Senator. In the same year, Michelle earned $273,618. In 2005, their total income was $1.65 million. Where did that extra $1.2 million come from???…

Barack wrote his first book “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” in 1995. It was not particularly popular for the first 8 or 9 years after being released. After his 2004 DNC keynote, the book exploded in popularity, leading to a significant royalty windfall for the Obama family that showed up as income in 2005.

In 2006 the Obamas reported income of $916,000. Barack's second book “Audacity of Hope”, released in October 2006, was a massive hit, selling millions of copies and rocketing the Obama's income to $4.2 million in 2007.

Their income continued to swell in the following years thanks to Barack's 2008 successful campaign and election. To this day, Barack Obama earns $3.75 for every hardcover copy and $1.12 for every paperback he sells.

Royalties remained healthy in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

In February 2017, Barack and Michelle Obama received a $60 million advance for the combined rights to their autobiographies.

Income History

Below you will find a table listing a complete 15-year history of the income Barack and Michelle earned between 2000 and 2017. They stopped releasing their tax releases after 2015. We don't know exactly how much they earned in 2016 or 2017. In 2017 we do know that the Obamas received a $65 million book advance for multiple books and media projects.

After leaving the White House they have made even more money from book advances and are now both highly sought-after public speakers.

The Obama Family Income History
2017At least $65,000,000

How much does the president make? As President, Barack Obama's base salary was $400,000 a year. He also had access to a $150,000 expense account as well as a $100,000 tax free travel account and $20,000 entertainment budget.

Barack and Michelle Obama Real Estate

Upon leaving office, Barack and Michelle rented a mansion in Washington D.C. while their youngest daughter finished high school. In June 2017 they spent $8.

1 million to buy the 8,200 square-foot rental. In August 2019 it was reported that the Obamas were in escrow on a $14.9 million property on Martha's Vineyard.

The property has a 7,000 square-foot main home and 29 oceanfront acres of land.


How Much Is Barack Obama Worth?

How much is Barack Obama worth?
John Gress Media Inc /

Since leaving the White House, Barack Obama has continued to very well for himself financially.

The former president released the first volume of his memoir, “A Promised Land,” in November 2020; by December 2020, it had sold 3.3 million copies, becoming one of the top-selling political memoirs in history.

Aside from the success of his memoir, Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, also signed a lucrative Netflix deal in 2018.

Under the banner of their production company, Higher Ground, the Obamas have released three documentaries so far: “American Factory,” which won an Oscar, “Becoming” and “Crip Camp,” which has the rare distinction of holding a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Celebrity Net Worth reported the former president’s net worth as $70 million. According to an estimate by Analytics@American, American University’s business analytics program, however, Barack and Michelle Obama could make as much as $242.5 million post-presidency.

  • Net worth: $70 million
  • Date of birth: Aug. 4, 1961
  • Primary sources of wealth: Presidential salary and pension, book and Netflix deals
  • Career highlights: Former president, Nobel Peace Prize

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Barack Obama’s Net Worth: $70 Million

Obama has an estimated net worth of $70 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, in part due to earning $400,000 a year throughout his entire eight-year term as president of the United States.

On April 15, 2016, Obama released his 2015 tax returns, which showed that he and his wife filed jointly and reported an adjusted gross income of $436,065. They paid $81,472 in taxes according to their 18.7% tax rate.

They also donated a total of $64,066 to more than 30 charities.

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A Timeline of Barack Obama’s Wealth

How did Obama grow his fortune? Here’s a timeline of his accomplishments that have added to his earnings over the years, as chronicled by Business Insider:

  • 2004: He earned a salary of $80,287 from the Illinois Senate and $32,144 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he lectured. Obama also had investments in three different assets — including the Vanguard Wellington Fund — evaluated between $100,000 and $200,000.
  • 2005: Obama received a multi-book deal with Random House and was given a $1.9 million advance after January 2005 for “The Audacity of Hope,” plus royalties, following his appearance at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He also earned just over $847,000 that year from another book advance for “Dreams From My Father,” plus $378,237 from additional book royalties.
  • 2006: Obama reported book royalties for “Dreams From My Father” of a little less than $150,000, plus $425,000 from royalties for “The Audacity of Hope.”
  • 2007: Obama earned almost $3.3 million from Random House book royalties and almost $816,000 from Dystel & Goderich for “Dreams From My Father.” He acquired U.S. Treasury notes valued between $500,000 and $1 million, and he invested in two 529 college savings plans — valued at between $50,000 and $100,000 each to start — for his daughters.
  • 2008: When Obama was elected president, he owned somewhere between $1.1 million and $5.1 million in U.S. Treasury bills.
  • 2009: Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, which came with a $1.4 million award. He donated it to a number of different charities.
  • 2009-2015: Obama earned $400,000 a year as president and continued to earn book royalties, as well as interest on his investments.
  • 2016-2017: Newsweek reported that Obama’s annual pension after leaving the White House is more than $200,000. He has also received fees as large as $400,000 for public speaking events. The Obamas also signed a book deal together with Penguin Random House reportedly worth more than $65 million for two books — one written by each member of the power couple.
  • 2018: The Obamas founded Higher Ground Productions and signed a production deal with Netflix, according to CNBC.
  • 2020: Barack Obama released his latest book, “A Promised Land.” The book is part of an unprecedented $65 million deal that also included Michelle Obama’s memoir.

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Barack Obama’s Life Beyond the Presidency

Obama is now one of four living former presidents, and he has returned to his community activist roots, working on issues that were important to him during his presidency, such as gun control, immigration, nuclear nonproliferation, race relations and criminal justice reform. Through various organizations, social media, speaking engagements and his production company, Obama continues to raise awareness of these issues and pursue social change.

According to the 1958 Former Presidents Act, Obama will receive the salary of a cabinet secretary for the rest of his life. That amount is his $205,700 annual pension. Among the other perks are health insurance and round-the-clock Secret Service protection until his death.

The cost of Secret Service protection is not made public, but Obama will also receive funds for an office, staff and related expenses, which George W. Bush took advantage of to the tune of almost $1.1 million in 2015.

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Barack Obama’s Netflix Deal

Obama is gearing up to increase his sphere of influence — and potentially his net worth — as a producer. He and his wife signed a deal to produce series and films for Netflix in 2018. Netflix did not disclose the financial details; The New York Times, however, reported that similar deals have been valued at tens of millions over several years.

The Obamas have so far produced three documentaries under Higher Ground Productions: “American Factory,” “Crip Camp,” and “Becoming.” Forthcoming titles include a sci-fi film called “Satellite,” a YA series called “Firekeeper’s Daughter,” and several more features — as well as a docuseries about the National Parks.

“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us,” Michelle Obama said in the official announcement.

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Barack Obama’s Speaking Fees

Many presidents establish foundations and enjoy lucrative second careers as in-demand speakers and authors, and the Obamas are as popular as ever.

The former president gave a speech in September 2017 at a healthcare conference run by the trading and investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald, according to The New York Times.

His fee for that event was reported to be $400,000, the same as his presidential annual salary.

Analytics@American estimated that the Obamas could make about 50 speeches a year, earning “a conservative $200,000” per speech.

Barack Obama’s Real Estate

Obama is the first former president in nearly 100 years to remain in Washington, D.C., after leaving office. He and the family remained in town so his youngest daughter, Sasha, could finish high school. She graduated in June 2019.

Their digs are located in the area’s posh Kalorama neighborhood, where former first daughter Ivanka Trump also owns a home. The Obamas bought the house for $8.1 million, according to CNBC. They also kept their Chicago home in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood.

With their post-presidential speaking and book deals, real estate holdings and production company, the Obamas are primed to maintain a considerable amount of wealth and influence beyond their time in the White House. Read more about the wealthiest presidential families.

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Sam DiSalvo, Stephanie Barbaran, and Joel Anderson contributed to the reporting for this article.

Last updated: Feb. 15, 2021

This article originally appeared on How Much Is Barack Obama Worth?

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