Donald Trump’s Biography: Donald J. Trump embodies the American success story, consistently raising the bar while expanding his interests in real estate, sports, and entertainment. He is the prototypical businessman, a dealmaker without equal.

Donald Trump's Biography
Donald Trump

Essential Data

FULL NAME: Donald John Trump
BORN: June 14, 1946
BIRTHPLACE: Queens, New York
SPOUSES: Ivana Trump (1977–1992), Marla Maples (1993–1999), and Melania Trump (2005–)
CHILDREN: Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany, and Baron
PARENTS: Frederick and Mary Trump
ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Gemini

Early Life of Donald Trump

Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York, to Fred, a real estate developer, and Mary, a homemaker and Scottish immigrant. He attended private school in Queens as the second youngest of five children before enrolling in the New York Military Academy for eighth grade through high school.

Trump attended Fordham University in New York City for two years before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1968. During the Vietnam War, he was granted four student deferments and one medical deferment and was not drafted.

Parents and Siblings

Father

Frederick Trump was a real estate developer and builder who specialized in the construction and operation of middle-income apartments in Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. He passed away in 1999.

Mother

Mary Anne MacLeod, 17, immigrated from Tong, Scotland, in 1929. In 1936, she married Fred Trump. The couple settled in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood teeming with Western European immigrants at the time. Mary rose through the ranks of New York society and philanthropy as her family’s fortune grew. Mary passed away in the year 2000.

Siblings

He is the forth of five children:

Maryanne Trump Barry was a senior judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit who retired shortly after her brother was elected president. She stepped down from the bench in February 2019.

Fred Trump Jr. briefly worked for his father before becoming a pilot. He struggled with alcohol and died at the age of 43 in 1981, prompting Donald to declare that he never drinks or uses drugs. “He had a profound impact on my life,” Trump said, “because you never know where you’re going to end up.”

Elizabeth Trump Grau, the wife of film producer James Grau, is a retired banker.
Donald Trump’s younger brother, Robert Trump, spent much of his career working for the family business. He died in 2020, at the age of 71.

Wives

Ivana Trump

Trump married his first wife, Ivana Trump (née Zelnickova Winklmayr), a New York fashion model who was an alternate on the Czech Olympic Ski Team in 1972, in 1977. She was named vice president in charge of design in the Trump Organization and was instrumental in overseeing the Commodore and Plaza Hotel renovations.

Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka, and Eric were the couple’s three children. They had a highly publicized divorce, which was finalized in 1992.

Marla Maples

Trump married Marla Maples, an actress with whom he had been involved for some time and who already had a daughter, Tiffany, in 1993.

Trump eventually filed for divorce from Maples in 1997, and the divorce was finalized in June 1999. Maples received $2 million in a prenuptial agreement.

Melania Trump

Trump is currently married to Melania Trump (née Knauss), a former Slovenian model who is more than 23 years his junior. The couple married in a lavish and well-publicized wedding in January 2005. Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton were among the many celebrity guests at the wedding.

Children

In 1998, Ivana Trump, Eric Trump, Donald Trump, and Ivanka Trump are seated at a table at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump is the father of five children. His first wife, Ivana Trump, and he had three children together: Donald Trump Jr. in 1977, Ivanka Trump in 1981, and Eric Trump in 1984. Tiffany Trump was born in 1993 to Trump and his second wife, Marla Maples. In March 2006, Trump’s current wife Melania Trump gave birth to Trump’s youngest child, Barron Trump.

Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, Trump’s sons, work as executive vice presidents for The Trump Organization. They took over the family business while their father continues to serve as president.

Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter, was also an executive vice president of The Trump Organization. She left the company and her own fashion label to work in her father’s administration as an unpaid presidential assistant. Jared Kushner, her husband, is also a senior adviser to President Trump.

Donald Trump

Career

After college, Trump joined his father’s company, E. Trump & Son, which built middle-class apartments in New York City’s outskirts. He was named president of the firm in 1974 and went on to make a name for himself in Manhattan real estate by building high-profile projects such as the Grand Hyatt New York hotel, which opened in 1980, and Trump Tower, a luxury high-rise that opened in 1983.

Trump also opened hotel-casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, purchased Manhattan’s storied Plaza Hotel, and purchased the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, which he renovated and turned into a private club. He briefly owned an airline and a professional football team in the short-lived United States Football League, among other things. The Art of the Deal, Trump’s memoir and business advice book, was published in 1987 and quickly became a best-seller. According to Forbes, his net worth was $1.5 billion in 1989, and he made his first appearance on the cover of Time magazine.

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Following an economic downturn and a slump in the real estate market in the early 1990s, Trump was deeply in debt, and several of his casinos declared bankruptcy. In 1995, he reported a nearly $1 billion tax loss. Trump eventually made a financial comeback, thanks in part to a business model that involved licensing his name for everything from condos to steaks and neckties.

Trump continued to buy and develop real estate, and when he became the first billionaire elected to the White House in 2016, his empire included office buildings, hotels, and golf courses all over the world. (His various business holdings, before and during his presidency, would become the topic of two Supreme Court cases where potential conflicts of interest were investigated, prompting a request for Trump to release his tax returns).

Entertainment Career

In 2004, Trump began hosting “The Apprentice,” a reality TV show in which contestants competed for a management position at one of his companies. The show, which featured Trump’s catchphrase “You’re fired,” received high ratings. The business magnate eventually made a million dollars per episode and became a household name. He hosted 14 seasons of “The Apprentice” as well as a spinoff show called “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

From 1996 to 2015, Trump owned several beauty pageants, including Miss Universe and Miss USA, in addition to starring in “The Apprentice” and making cameo appearances in other TV shows and movies. He established a modeling agency in 1999.

Trump University

Trump established his for-profit Trump University in 2005, offering classes in real estate and wealth acquisition and management. The venture had been under scrutiny almost since its inception, and it was still the subject of multiple lawsuits when he ran for president in 2015.

Claimants accused Trump of fraud, false advertising, and breach of contract in the cases. The suits sparked controversy when Trump suggested that because of his Mexican heritage, U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel could not be impartial in overseeing two class action lawsuits.

On November 18, 2016, Trump, who had previously stated that he would go to trial, agreed to settle three of the lawsuits for $25 million without admitting liability. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the settlement “a stunning reversal by Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university” in a statement.

Donald J. Trump Foundation

Later, it was reported that Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi decided not to join the existing New York fraud lawsuit in a separate incident involving Trump University. This came just days after she received a sizable campaign donation from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a private charity organization founded in 1988 to make donations to nonprofit organizations. Bondi’s name was reported to be on Trump’s list of potential U.S. Attorney General candidates in November 2016.

As a result of the improper donation to Bondi’s campaign, Trump was required to pay an IRS penalty, and his foundation was investigated for using funds for non-charitable purposes. According to tax records, The Trump Foundation has received no charitable gifts from Trump since 2008, and all donations since then have come from outside sources.

After Trump admitted to using foundation funds to promote his presidential campaign and settle debts, he was ordered to pay $2 million in damages, and the foundation was forced to close its doors.

Net Worth

According to Forbes, Trump’s net worth is $2.5 billion as of May, placing the real estate developer at No. 1,232 on the magazine’s list of the world’s richest billionaires.

That’s a 22% decrease from 2022, when Forbes estimated his fortune to be $3.2 billion. So, while his wealth has decreased, a $5 million award resulting from the Carroll ruling is a small portion of his total wealth.

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