Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Records of the General Accounting Office:
Presidential Pay Records
(Record Group 411)

Date Span: 1906-1954. Bulk Date Span: 1945-1953.

The Presidential Pay Records consist mostly of certificates and statements from the General Accounting Office (GAO) authorizing the payment of President Harry S. Truman's monthly salary and expense allowance.

[Administrative Information | Agency History Note | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 2.5 linear inches (about 400 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Documents created by U.S. government officials in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Shane Ewing (2016) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Agency History Note | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


AGENCY HISTORY NOTE

The General Accounting Office (GAO) was established by Congress in 1921. One of its functions was the payment of the President's salary. In 1909, Congress raised the President's annual salary to $75,000. In 1949, Congress increased the President's salary to $100,000 a year, and also provided him with an annual expense allowance of $50,000.

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Presidential Pay Records consist mostly of certificates and statements from the General Accounting Office (GAO) authorizing the payment of President Harry S. Truman's monthly salary and expense allowance. Also included are other financial records, correspondence, and printed materials. The collection is arranged in a single series, the Harry S. Truman File.

The GAO certificates and statements indicate that President Truman received $6,250 a month in compensation from 1945 to 1949. In 1949, his monthly compensation increased to $12,500. This reflected an increase in the President's salary and the creation of a monthly allowance to meet his expenses. The GAO documents show that a portion of the President's monthly salary went to the Treasurer of the United States for taxes.

The collection also contains letters and memorandums regarding the President's pay. These include correspondence from the press and the public questioning how the President's pay was determined, and the GAO's responses to these queries.

The collection also contains newspaper clippings and copies of legislation used to determine the President's pay. One article raises the question of whether President Truman was paid a full day's salary on January 20, 1953, his last day in office.

Other collections at the Truman Library that pertain to President Truman's finances include the Harry S. Truman Papers (President's Secretary's Files: Personal File) and the Bess W. Truman Papers (Financial Affairs File).

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Agency History Note | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.Series
1 HARRY S. TRUMAN FILE, 1906-1954
Certificates and statements, other financial records, correspondence, and printed materials relating to President Harry S. Truman's salary. Arranged alphabetically by folder title, and thereunder chronologically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • Salary Records
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
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