Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who often speaks of his blue-collar roots, is now a millionaire, thanks to a $1.25 million book deal that he signed with HarperCollins in anticipation of his run for president.
Mr. DeSantis saw his net worth skyrocket to $1.17 million by the end of 2022, up from roughly $319,000 in 2021, according to a financial disclosure filed on Friday with the Florida Commission on Ethics. The governor’s memoir, “The Courage to Be Free,” was published in late February as a prelude to the presidential campaign he announced in May. It became a New York Times nonfiction best seller, with more than 94,000 copies sold in its first week. (Literary reviews were less kind.)
Before declaring that he would run for president, Mr. DeSantis took a series of trips around the country to meet local Republicans and promote his book. “And so my book, I think it’s out there, just so you know, No. 1 book in America for nonfiction,” a smiling Mr. DeSantis said at one such stop in Iowa this spring. “There’s a lot of people that aren’t happy about that, I can tell you.”
Mr. DeSantis, a former congressman, had seen his personal wealth hold relatively steady in the years since he was first elected governor in 2018. At the end of that year, he reported his net worth at around $284,000.
As governor, Mr. DeSantis received an annual salary of $141,400.20 last year. Besides his salary and the book deal, he reported receiving no other income in 2022, according to his state financial disclosure. His assets included a USAA bank account with slightly more than $1 million, as well as a federal Thrift Savings Plan and a state retirement account. Mr. DeSantis, a Navy veteran, has spent almost all of his career in government service. His only liability is listed as nearly $19,000 in student loan debt.
Mr. DeSantis’s straightforward finances offer a contrast to the sprawling commercial empire of his main rival for the Republican nomination, Donald J. Trump, who is well ahead of Mr. DeSantis in national polls. Mr. Trump, whose father was a successful real estate developer, grew up wealthy.
On the campaign trail, Mr. DeSantis highlights his far humbler roots.
“I was a blue-collar kid growing up. My parents were working class,” he told a crowd in North Carolina this month, adding that he had worked low-wage jobs to put himself through school.
“And I only did that because I believe in America,” Mr. DeSantis continued. “You work hard and you make the most of your God-given ability, you’re going to have the chance to do big things. And I wonder how many people believe that nowadays.”