Given our love for all things startup-related here at Fundable, it’s no surprise that the arrival of President’s Day inspired some research into the entrepreneurial backgrounds of commander-in-chiefs throughout history.
Ten of our previous forty-three presidents could be considered entrepreneurs- that’s a whopping 23%. When compared to the 11% of the general American population that own their own business, its a definite jump- those voted into the role of U.S. President are more than twice as likely to own a business.
Entrepreneurial presidents include:
Abraham Lincoln. Law, Retail. Not only is Honest Abe the only U.S. President to ever receive a patent, but he also once tried to file a patent for a 19th century Facebook. He envisioned each town in the U.S. having it’s own Gazette with personal pages including quotes, favorite books, and happenings around town that could be shared with the public or could be distributed only to a person’s friends and family.
Warren G. Harding. Media. Harding purchased The Marion Star for $300 (the modern day equivalent of $3818) and later sold it for $550,000 (the modern day equivalent of $7,000,000).
Franklin D. Roosevelt. Polio treatment spa. After being diagnosed with polio, FDR learned of a spa treatment facility in Warm Springs, Georgia. After experiencing the spa’s treatment, he purchased the facility and used it to treat other polio sufferers.
Harry Truman. Retail. Unfortunately, Truman’s men’s clothing store went out of business due to the Great Depression. However, Truman refused to declare bankruptcy and eventually repaid all debts related to the store.
Jimmy Carter. Agriculture. By the time Carter was thirteen, he had saved enough money to purchase 5 houses and rented them to area families. Later on, Carter left a military career to run his father’s peanut farm after his father died.
George H.W. Bush. Oil. Bush founded three separate oil companies: Bush-Overbey Oil Development Company, Zapata Petroleum Corporation, and Zapata Off-shore. The Bush family is still involved in the oil industry to this day.
George W. Bush. Investments. Bush invested $606,302 in the Texas Rangers between the years of 1989 and 1991 and later sold his stake in the Rangers for $14,900,000.
Herbert Hoover. Engineering. Hoover began an engineering business in 1908. His business helped to reorganize companies and find mining prospects. His business ultimately employed over 175,000 people around the world.
James Polk. Law. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Polk formed a successful law practice in Columbia, Tennessee.
Lyndon B. Johnson. Multimedia. Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, ran several radio and television stations in Texas. In fact, the stations made up the bulk of their wealth.
With so many of our founding fathers also founding companies, its no surprise that entrepreneurship in on the rise in the U.S.
Happy President's Day from the Fundable team!