US Presidential Salaries And Perks 

Mike Rothschild
Updated March 22, 2020 61.9k views 18 items

What was the salary of each president? The highest office in America has quite a few perks (along with, you know, a lot of power and respect), but as far as presidential salary, it's a relative pittance. Most presidents made far more money in the private sector than they'll ever make in office. But what about those perks?

Turns out there are more than you might think - and they're pretty great. For one thing, you get a nice big house to live in. You also get a guest house and a vacation home. You get a company car - one with enough armor and defensive measures to survive a chemical attack. Plus the company jet is nice, and the company helicopter has its own convoy. You also get an expense account, entertainment allowance, and Secret Service folks who open doors for you everywhere you go.

On the downside, you have to pay for your own food and dry cleaning. And you have to give all the stuff back after your term is up - though you still get a staff and a pension when you're done. Here is the US president's salary through the years, along with their housing, transportation, and post-presidential swag. Though presidential salaries might not be as high as you thought, POTUS does have a bowling alley in the basement - which isn't bad.

1789 - 1873: $25,000
1789 - 1873: $25,000 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list US Presidential Salaries And Perks
Photo: John Trumbull/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

From George Washington's first term, beginning in 1789, to the beginning of Ulysses S. Grant's second term in 1873, the president's salary was fixed at $25,000. This was the modern equivalent of $636,000 at first, but only about $472,000 by 1873.

1873 - 1909: $50,000
1873 - 1909: $50,000 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list US Presidential Salaries And Perks
Photo: Brady-Handy Photograph Collection, Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

President Grant got a raise for his second term, lasting through William Howard Taft's inauguration. The current value of this salary was $944,000 at the beginning, and $1.4 million in 1909.

1909 - 1949: $75,000
1909 - 1949: $75,000 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list US Presidential Salaries And Perks
Photo: George Grantham Bain/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

President Taft's salary jumped to $75,000, which lasted until Harry Truman's second term, which began in 1949. The current value dropped from $1.9 million in 1909 to $715,000 in 1949.

1949 - 1969: $100,000
1949 - 1969: $100,000 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list US Presidential Salaries And Perks
Photo: Edmonston Studio/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Presidents Truman through Johnson received $100,000 - equivalent in today's money to $953,000 (in 1949) and $647,000 (in 1969).