When Barack Obama joined the U.S. Senate in 2005, he was a 43-year old former law professor making $85,000 a year. In the 12 years since then, he won the White House, reworked the nation’s laws, ended two wars—and earned $20 million
Three-fourths of that money came from lucrative book deals, according to a FORBES analysis of 16 years of tax returns and financial disclosure documents. In total, Obama has earned $15.6 million as an author since arriving in Washington.
He has made $8.8 million from his bestseller Audacity of Hope and children’s book Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters. Sales of his memoir Dreams From My Father, originally published in 1995, also took off once he landed in the nation’s capital, resulting in a $6.8 million windfall for the president. Obama made another $3.7 million from government salaries. The former president didn’t waste much time capitalizing on his story once he got to the nation’s capital. In January 2005, the same month he joined the Senate, he got approval from its ethics committee for a $1.9 million advance against royalties with Random House for two non-fiction books and one children’s book. Read more