Dead Presidents

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated August 5, 2020

What are Dead Presidents?

In the finance world, dead presidents are slang for U.S. currency.

How Do Dead Presidents Work?

The term comes from the pictures of the former U.S. presidents, all of whom are deceased, that appear on the face of American currency. Though presidents appear on U.S. coins, the term generally refers to paper currency. The presidents on U.S. bills are:

$1: George Washington
$2: Thomas Jefferson
$5: Abraham Lincoln
$10: Alexander Hamilton
$20: Andrew Jackson
$50: Ulysses S. Grant
$100: Benjamin Franklin (note: Benjamin Franklin was not a U.S. president)
$500: William McKinley
$1,000: Grover Cleveland
$5,000: James Madison
$10,000: Salmon P. Chase (note: Salmon P. Chase was not a U.S. president)
$100,000: Woodrow Wilson

Why Do Dead Presidents Matter?

Like any other industry, the finance world has its own slang and colorful language.