In past months we have discussed famous people who faced bankruptcy and yet, still went on to lead full, successful lives. Famous people, musicians, actors and even politicians have faced the difficult decision to petition for bankruptcy. This month we will look at some of the nation’s famous politicians throughout history from the position of president down to local representatives who have faced financial problems. These are some fo the more notable cases:
- Thomas Jefferson – One of the nation’s Founding Fathers and its 3rd president had financial troubles. Jefferson incurred debt building his plantation home, Monticello, and furnishing it with books, fine wines, artwork, silver, and furniture bought on credit. (Does this sound familiar?) Even after his death, his estate was riddled with so much debt that it had to be sold off in order to pay creditors.
- Benedict Arnold – The word that Arnold is usually branded with is “traitor”. Beyond the questions of loyalty, Arnold had financial woes that also weighed heavily on his mind. Consequently, Arnold went bankrupt immediately after the revolution.
- William McKinley – Bankruptcy did not hold McKinley back from climbing the political ladder. During his term as Governor of Ohio, McKinley lent money to a friend for a business deal that went sour. He found it necessary to file for bankruptcy. Despite the setback, McKinley became the 25th president of the United States three years later.
- George McGovern – McGovern was a member of the United States House of Representatives and Senate. He even had an (unsuccessful) run for president. In the business world McGovern ran an unsuccessful hotel business that was forced to file Chapter 11. After the bankruptcy, McGovern noted in a Congressional record that knowing what American business owners face when in debt would have made him a better politician.