In 2019, Dianne Feinstein's net worth was estimated a $58.5 million, and given her various investments, it is safe to conclude that the amount has increased since. The senior Senator may have held her seat since 1992, but her wealth is not primarily from her salary. She has made intelligent decisions over the years, including marrying a billionaire husband, and together they have built an empire. Feinstein's ability to stand her ground and go after what she wants no matter what it takes has been the wind beneath her wings. Let's take a look at how she achieved her net worth.
Feinstein was meant to be in politics, although the Catholic School she attended had made her develop an interest in theater. When she graduated from Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, she was faced with joining Stanford University or UC-Berkeley. Her father loved California thus encouraged her to pick Stanford, where she took up American History and Politics. Initially, she wanted to pursue medicine as her father had done, but when she joined Stanford, she became so engrossed in social activities that she neglected her academics. As a result, her poor grades forced her to study politics.
The Senator had already shown interest in politics mainly from interacting with her paternal uncle, Morris Goldman. According to Jewish Women's Archive, Goldman was a populist who loved educating Feinstein about politics; he could even take her to City Hall. Since her father, on the other hand, was a Republican, the differences between the two brothers led young Feinstein to begin understanding how important being neutral in politics is and always to understand both sides of an argument. Her determination to be in politics saw her become active in all political activities within Stanford. As a freshman, she ran for Associated Women Students' Secretary and Associated Students' Executive Committee Freshman Representative. When she was a junior, she advised incoming female students on making their mark since men outnumbered women on the campus. By the time she was a senior, she wanted to hold the highest office women could, the student body Vice President. Her campaign was met with ridicule and mockery, but in the end, she won 63% of the votes, making it the first win in her political career.
Not Meant to be a Housewife
According to Stanford Magazine, Feinstein applied for a fellowship with Coro Foundation during her last year in college. She cited her aspirations to run for political office on both local and national levels. That ambition helped her secure the position of an intern at the public affairs department of the Coro Foundation in 1955 after graduating. By 1958, aged only 15, she was working as an advocate for prison reforms thanks to Edmund Pat Brown, then-Governor of California Brown was a parent at the Catholic School she had attended. He had been blown away by her political insight when he met her as a teenager.
Feinstein had gotten married to Jack Berman after they eloped in 1956. She gave birth to a daughter, and her husband expected her to stop pursuing her political career and stay at home, focusing on being a mother and wife. Unfortunately, that is not what Feinstein was built for, so they divorced in 1959. Feinstein joined the California Women's Board of Terms and Paroles in 1960 until 1966. By then, she had met another man, Bertram Feinstein, and they married in 1962; luckily, he did not stop her from going after her dreams. By 1969, Feinstein became the San Francisco Supervisors Board’s first woman president. In 1978, Feinstein became the first woman mayor in San Francisco after Supervisor Harvey Milk, and Mayor George Moscone were killed. She had tried running for mayor twice, but her campaigns were unsuccessful. However, since she was the board president, the assassination of the mayor made her his successor. According to the Washington Post, that position earned her $56,000 per year. She was re-elected for a second term in 1983, and in 1987, Feinstein was named America's Most Effective Mayor.
Unleashing Her Full Potential
In 1988, Feinstein retired from her mayoral position because she wanted to run for governor but lost to Senator Pete Wilson in 1990. She became a bit more realistic and ran for Senator in 1992, a seat she clinched after defeating John Seymour. Since then, Feinstein has continued making history. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, she is the only woman to preside over a presidential inauguration. She also is the oldest sitting U.S. Senator and the first woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The current basic salary for U.S. senators is $174,000 annually plus benefits, and since she has been holding the seat for nearly three decades, she has amassed a substantial sum.
However, the salary from public office is not enough to push Feinstein's net worth to $58 million. Therefore, you need to know her husband's role in making the Senator a wealthy woman. Feinstein married Richard Blum in 1980, and since then, media has reported io how her push towards US-China trade relations has been instrumental in making Blum a billionaire. In 1997, The Los Angeles Times published that the Senator and her husband have strong China connections. Between 1992 and 1997, Blum had doubled his investments. However, the businessman was emphatic that less than 2% of his $1.2 billion empire was invested in China. Besides the foreign investments, the couple has a lucrative real estate business. As Heavy reported, Feinstein and Blum own Carlton Hotel, Sana Francisco. It is part of the Carlton Hotel Properties L.P., valued at $25 million in 2016, five times as much as it had been estimated the previous year. With such a fast high return on investment, the company is worth hundreds of millions of dollars by now. The lovebirds also own several homes in Aspen, Hawaii, Spring Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Pacific Heights. Currently, the condo in Lake Tahoe is up for sale at $41 million.
Written by Allen Lee
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