Since leaving office in 2001, Bill Clinton has amassed an estimated $40-million from speaking fees.
Last year was his best yet, raking in between $9-million and $10-million from speeches around the world. He earned in the region of $200 000 a year as president.
Clinton, who went into the White House with relatively modest means compared with most of his predecessors, left office an estimated $12-million in debt from election campaigning and legal fees in relation to the Whitewater affair and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Since becoming an ex-president, he has established himself as the world’s best-paid after-dinner speaker, charging about $150 000 a speech. On one particular day, in Canada, he gave two speeches, earning $475 000.
He told an audience in Kentucky in the autumn: “I never had a nickel to my name until I got out of the White House, and now I’m a millionaire.”
But he was only paid personally for about 20% of the speeches he made.
Many of the others were for charities, mainly the William J Clinton Foundation, whose annual budget is $60-million and which he runs to help the developing world, primarily to combat HIV/Aids. Some of the speeches were given for free.
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- Rudolph Giuliani charges $100,000 per speech
- Ronald Reagan earned $2-million in Japan