The president, as he prepared to leave office, was dead broke. So broke, in fact, that he had to take out a loan to get him through the transition. Bill Clinton in 2001? No, Harry Truman in 1953 -- and the resemblance ends there.
Back then, although Truman had only a monthly Army pension of $112.56, he was adamant about not employing his presidential service to cash in. As biographer David McCullough relates, Truman turned down a new Toyota; a Miami real-estate development company's offer of "not less than $100,000" to come on board; an array of consulting gigs.
"I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable, that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the presidency," Truman later wrote.
Those were the days -- and even then they weren't, entirely. Months after leaving office, Truman sold the rights to his memoirs to Life magazine for $600,000 -- the equivalent of more than $5 million today.