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Bill Clinton's public speaking earnings worth $104.9M

Bill Clinton talks, people listen and pay. A lot. $104.9 million since 2001.
Bill Clinton talks, people listen and pay. A lot. $104.9 million since 2001.
Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

It was revealed on Thursday that since January 2001, soon after he left the Oval Office, former President Bill Clinton has been paid $104.9 million for 542 speeches all over the globe. This news comes two weeks after wife Hillary Clinton revealed that she and Bill were “dead broke” and struggled to pay their mortgages.

In Hillary’s defense, the one-time presidential couple was in a hefty debt of $10.6 million by the time they had left the White House, in spite of the fact the former First Lady never had a gap in employment. The presumed Democratic frontrunner candidate for 2016 is also making quite a bit of money, at least $200,000 per speech, for her own speaking engagements.

The majority of President Clinton’s speeches were made right here in the States, but the bulk of his paychecks came from overseas. Appearances in Canada, China, Japan and all over Europe netted him $56.3 million. With the exception of 2012, he made substantially more from appearances abroad than in the United States.

The year of Clinton’s lowest earnings came in 2013. The report points to Hillary’s resignation from her secretary of state position as a result of the dip. January 2013 was also the end period of the Clintons' financial disclosure, go figure. 2004 was another down year for Bill’s speaking fees, though that was when he underwent heart surgery.

Of the many clients who paid the former president for merely making an appearance and talking, most of his speaking scrap was paid from the financial sector. He raked in nearly $20 million from making as many as 100 appearances from Wall Street sponsored events. That doesn't mean his speeches are limited to discourses on the private sector. From liquor distributors in China to nonprofits in the U.S., Clinton speaks on just about everything.

In the last speech mentioned in the report, an appearance at former Israeli President Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday, Clinton was paid $500,000 to talk for 45 minutes. If you think that's an astonishing rate of pay for using one’s vocal chords, consider that this isn’t the most amount of money Bill has been paid to speak. His highest public speaking payday came in November 2011 when he made $750,000 from Ericsson to speak in Hong Kong.

Using a little fuzzy math, you could probably figure out pretty quickly that, however much debt the Clintons were in when they left the White House, money is probably not a big concern for them anymore.