Joe Kennedy III, House Representative from Massachusetts, has stayed relatively under the radar despite his famous family background. This all changed when he introduced Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the Democratic National Convention. Since then, he’s been front and center in many political discussions, and how he’s giving the Democrat’s official response to President Donald Trump’s 2018 State of the Union. Kennedy is currently serving his third term in the House. He comes from a very rich family, but just how much is he worth? Read on for more details.
1. Joe’s Net Worth Is Estimated to Be Between $18 and $43 Million, Mostly from Trusts
Joe’s net worth varies depending on which source you ask. Joe is reported to have a net worth of more than $18 million according to Roll Call. That net worth is combination of investments and trust funds. According to Roll Call, he has about $19 million in trusts, $.02 million in bank accounts, and $.36 million in investments. His largest stake in any one enterprise, Roll Call reported, is $750,000 in Exxon Mobil.
The Center for Responsive Politics, meanwhile, estimated Joe’s net worth at being closer to $43.2 million, according to financial disclosures from 2014. These disclosures include a “full range of reported assets,” subtracting their liabilities, and the estimated net worth falling at the midpoint. The lowest range of the net worth is $19.4 million and the highest range is $66.5 million, with $42.9 falling in the middle as of 2015.
2. Joe Kennedy III Is One of the Richest Men in Congress
In fact, Joe has been listed as one of the wealthiest people in Congress (a stark contrast to Joe Biden, who is sometimes referred to as one of the poorest men in Congress.) According to Roll Call, Joe Kennedy is the 22nd richest person in Congress. He was previously #21, but his wealth dwindled by about 7 percent in 12 months. (Meanwhile, Open Secrets ranked Joe as the 16th richest man in the House.)
The richest man in Congress is Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican worth $254.65 million. Second place goes to Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican worth $107.61 million.
3. Joe And His Wife Still Have Nearly $1 Million in Debt
Despite being the 22nd richest person in Congress, Joe and his wife, Lauren Anne Birchfield, still have some debt. She has about $50,000 still in student loans to the federal government. The couple also still have at least $750,000 in debt from mortgages for their East Coast homes.
4. Joe Has Invested in Pharmaceuticals, Including the Controversial Gilead Sciences
According to Open Secrets, the top industries that Joe invested in during 2015 were pharmaceuticals and health ($1.58 million) and electronics manufacturing ($1.126 million). His top assets included a trust worth $19 million. Boston Globe delved a little more deeply into his pharma investments, writing in May 2016 that he had earned stock value of up to $434,999 from Gilead Sciences Inc., the manufacturer of the high-priced hepatitis C drug called Sovaldi. He earned between $15,001 and $50,000 in capital gains after selling part of his stock in the company in 2014, after purchasing the stock in 2012. He purchased the stock during hepatitis C’s spread in Massachusetts, the Globe reported, with cases skyrocketing from 10 in 2011 to 174 in 2013.
The Globe reported that his holdings in Gilead as of late 2015 were between $180,004 and $450,000. Kennedy’s office, however, said that he was not personally involved in stock decisions, but that his investments were handled by an independent financial adviser. A spokeswoman for Kennedy said at the time the news came out that he believed in keeping life-saving drugs affordable and would push for lower prices for the Hepatitis C drug. In 2015, Kennedy was an original cosponsor for a bill aimed at tracking prescription drugs and curbing abuse.
5. His Great Grandfather, Joseph Kennedy, Would’ve Been a Billionaire in Today’s Dollars
The Kennedy fortune has been passed down through the years. Joseph Kennedy, JFK’s father, was worth $250 million before his son won the presidency. That would make him a billionaire in today’s terms, Forbes reported. He poured much of his money into political campaigns, including his family’s. When JFK was elected to the Senate, the campaign spent about $350,000, which was about six times what his Republican opponent spent.
The LA Times reported in 2009 that Joseph Kennedy set his fortune in a series of family trusts hidden from the public. These trusts gave out a small amount of money annually to the Kennedy family and are invested conservatively by financial experts. The goal is to keep the principal in place, so the trusts aren’t decimated by economic downturns. Joseph accumulated this money in the first place with a liquor distribution business and real estate investments.