Presidents Who Were Also Businessmen

Since we celebrate President’s Day today I thought it might be interesting to pull up a little business trivia about some of the past leaders of our republic who were also business leaders.

And they did it all without the help of an executive coach. Go figure.

  • George Washington built a whiskey distillery on Mount Vernon the year he left office, which eventually became one of the largest distilleries in the country.
  • Herbert Hoover started a mining consulting firm with offices in London, San Francisco, New York, Paris and Petrograd.
  • Warren Harding bought a newspaper that was nearly bankrupt and made it so successful that it provided his income for decades, including while he was running for office.
  • Franklin Roosevelt founded the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation as a hydrotherapy and healing spa for polio victims.
  • Harry Truman opened a clothing store in Kansas City, which was initially successful but eventually went bankrupt.
  • Jimmy Carter took over his family’s peanut farm and eventually grew it into a multi-million dollar business that included warehouses, a peanut-shelling plant, and farm equipment supplies.
  • George H.W. Bush founded the Bush-Overbey Oil Development company and co-founded the Zapata Petroleum Corporation; business ventures that made him a millionaire.
  • George W. Bush invested $800,000 in the Texas Rangers baseball team and later sold that share for $15 million.

Thanks to and for the interesting factoids!

Howard Shore is an executive coach and trainer with expertise in leadership coaching and human capital management. To learn more about AGI’s executive coaching, management consulting, and leadership training, please visit his website at or contact Howard Shore at (305) 722-7216 or email him.