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How rich is Ohio’s “Hillbilly Elegy” senator: J. D. Vance’s net worth revealed

How rich is Ohio’s “Hillbilly Elegy” senator: J. D. Vance’s net worth revealed
Nemanja Curcic

J. D. Vance is an American author, venture capitalist, and a United States Senator from Ohio since 2023. Gaining national prominence with his memoir, Hillbilly Elegy, Vance decided to enter politics. He is a conservative Republican with strong ties to Donald Trump. Today, we’ll share J. D. Vance’s net worth and shed light on his many sources of income.

How rich is J. D. Vance?

After graduating from Middletown High School, Vance enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was deployed in Iraq (2003-2007). He then enrolled at Ohio State University and graduated with a B.A. in political science and philosophy. Afterward, he received a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Vance said that his professor Amy Chua, the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, convinced him to write his memoir. The book, fully titled Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, brought him national fame and made it onto The New York Times Best Seller list in 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, the Times would call it “one of the six best books to help understand Trump’s win.”

Since J. D. Vance took his Senator role in 2023, the politician’s salary has contributed little to his total wealth. Conversely, his main sources of income are his book (and movie) contributions and his career as a venture capitalist.

As a relative newcomer to U.S. politics, the Hillbilly Elegy senator’s official tax disclosures trace only as early as 2021, with only one annual report for CY available, which is the one from 2022. Therefore, the sources are limited, and J. D. Vance’s current net worth is, therefore, only a rough estimate.

What is J. D. Vance’s net worth?

According to multiple sources, including The Sun and Yahoo Finance, J. D. Vance’s net worth is estimated at $7 million.

How did J. D. Vance make his money?

J. D. Vance’s net worth has been pieced together from several sources:

  • Politician’s salary: Vance has held the title of U.S. Senator from Ohio since 2023, which provides him with an annual salary of $174,000 per year. However, as he received less than two annual salaries as of writing, its contributions to Vance’s total wealth are virtually negligible;
  • Authorship royalties: Besides acknowledging J. D. Vance in the eyes of the American public, Hillbilly Elegy also brought the young senator significant sums of money. According to Business Insider, he received $347,752 in 2020 and $475,380 in 2021 alone. His 2022 fiscal disclosure also mentions $121,376 in royalties for the period;
  • Narya Capital: Vance is also a co-founder of a venture capital company, Narya Capital, alongside Peter Thiel, Eric Schmidt, and Marc Andreessen. His tax disclosure for 2022 states that he received an annual salary of $110,146 for his position at the company;
  • Stock assets: J. D. Vance tends to hold some of the same positions as his venture capital company. For example, his 2022 tax disclosure form lists a major position in Memoir (between $250,001 and $500,000) and significant positions (between $100,001 and $250,000) in companies such as Rumble (NASDAQ: RUM) and AppHarvest (NASDAQ: APPHW).

Insider trading involvement

Although J. D. Vance is himself a venture capitalist, he has been a vocal proponent of banning Congresspeople from owning individual stocks. In 2022, he stated:

“I think it should be illegal for members of Congress to trade stocks in this country. That is something you can actually get done on a bipartisan level.”

The Senator from Ohio has taken potshots at Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker and one of the richest members of U.S. Congress. He said: “Nancy Pelosi is privy to secret information … that she then turns around into stock trades and [gets] rich for herself in a way that no private investor in the country is good at.”

Vance also stated that he would put his own assets in a blind trust if the bill to ban insider trading passes.

Who is J. D. Vance?

James David Vance was born on August 2, 1984, in Middletown, Ohio. His parents divorced when he was a toddler, and Vance and his sisters were raised by their grandparents in a working-class Appalachian family. The tough upbringing and the deep social and economic issues of his condition proved vital for his memoir and sparked a nationwide debate on the many problems faced by working-class Americans, especially along the Rust Belt. 

Prior to his popularity, Vance served in the Marines, including duty in the Iraq War. Although he has a J.D. from Yale Law School, he shifted his focus to venture capital investments in technology and biotech, particularly in Silicon Valley.

Described as a “conservative populist” in politics, J. D. Vance is a member of the Republican party. His political views lean toward the conservative right, and he has been a strong advocate for the ailing working class and containing the “social rot” in America’s heartland. Conversely, as a senator, he has transitioned from a member of the “Never Trump movement” to one of his most loyal supporters, drawing criticism for some of his controversial stances.

Recommended video: Are You A Racist?

J. D. Vance’s net worth – the bottom line

J. D. Vance’s net worth, estimated at $7 million, places Vance in the upper half of the richest senators list. That said, the vast majority of his wealth came before his senatorial position. To be more precise, the bulk of his wealth comes from book royalties and the subsequent deal with Netflix, as well as his venture capital company position and personal investments. 

Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

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