5. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
An ambitious but poor young man, Lincoln’s early life left him in financial ruin. When he was in his 20?s he bought a general store with a friend and business associate – an investment he would later regret. Before the store went bankrupt Lincoln sold his share in the venture. However, his partner died shortly afterwards and Lincoln was forced to absorb his debts. He was taken to court by the store’s creditors and lost ownership of his only remaining assets: a horse and some surveying equipment. His later career as an attorney eventually brought Lincoln out of complete poverty.
(AP Photo/National Portrait Gallery, file)