Born Donald John Trump
June 14, 1946 (age 70)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican (1987–99, 2009–11, 2012–present)
Democratic (before 1987, 2001–09)
(m. 1977; div. 1991)
(m. 1993; div. 1999)
Alma mater Fordham University
University of Pennsylvania (BS)
Net worth US$3.7 billion (October 2016)
Donald John Trump ( born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, author, politician and current President-elect of the United States. Since 1971 he has chaired The Trump Organization, the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests. During his business career, Trump has built office towers, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and other branded facilities worldwide. He was elected as the 45th U.S. president in the 2016 election on the Republican ticket, defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and is scheduled to take office on January 20, 2017. At 70 years old, Trump will be the oldest person to assume the presidency.
Trump was born and raised in New York City and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. In 1971, he was given control of his father Fred Trump’s real estate and construction firm. Trump has appeared at the Miss USA pageants, which he owned from 1996 to 2015, and has made cameo appearances in films and television series. He sought the Reform Party presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began. He hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC, from 2004 to 2015. As of 2016, he was listed by Forbes as the 324th wealthiest person in the world, and 156th in the United States, with a net worth of $3.7 billion in October 2016.
In June 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president as a Republican and quickly emerged as the front-runner for his party’s nomination. In May 2016, his remaining Republican rivals suspended their campaigns, and in July he was formally nominated for president at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Trump’s campaign received unprecedented media coverage and international attention. Many of his statements in interviews, on Twitter, and at campaign rallies have been controversial or false. Several rallies during the primaries were accompanied by protests. On October 7, a 2005 audio recording surfaced in which Trump bragged about forcibly kissing and groping women or being able to do so; multiple women accused him of similar conduct shortly thereafter. He apologized for the 2005 comments and denied the allegations, describing them as part of a wider smear campaign.
Trump’s platform included renegotiation of U.S.–China trade deals, opposition to particular trade agreements, such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, stronger enforcement of immigration laws together with building a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, reform of veterans’ care, repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and tax cuts. Following the November 2015 Paris attacks, Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, later stating that the ban would focus instead on countries with a proven history of terrorism, until the screening for potential terrorists is redressed.
Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City. He was the second youngest child of five children. Of his four siblings, three are living: Maryanne, Elizabeth, and Robert. Trump’s older brother Fred Jr. died in 1981 from alcoholism, which Trump says led him to never drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.
Trump is of German ancestry on his father’s side and Scottish ancestry on his mother’s side; all four of his grandparents were born in Europe. His father Fred Trump (1905–1999) was born in Queens to parents from Kallstadt, Germany, and became one of the biggest real estate developers in New York City. His mother, Mary Trump (née MacLeod, 1912–2000), was born in Tong, Lewis, Scotland. Fred and Mary met in New York and married in 1936, settling together in Queens. His uncle John G. Trump, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1936 to 1973, was involved in radar research for the Allies in the Second World War, helped design X-ray machines that provided additional years of life to cancer patients, and in 1943, the Federal Bureau of Investigation requested him to examine Nikola Tesla’s papers and equipment when Tesla died in his room at the New Yorker Hotel. Trumps’ grandfather was Frederick Trump who amassed a fortune operating boom-town restaurants and boarding houses in the region of Seattle and Klondike, Canada.
The Trump family were originally Lutherans, but Trump’s parents belonged to the Reformed Church in America. The family name was formerly spelled Drumpf or Drumpft, and later evolved to Trump during the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century. Trump has said that he is proud of his German heritage; he served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.
The family had a two-story Tudor Revival home on Midland Parkway in Jamaica Estates, where Trump lived while attending The Kew-Forest School. Trump left the school at age 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy (NYMA) in Cornwall, New York where he finished eighth grade and high school. In 1983, Fred Trump told an interviewer that Donald “was a pretty rough fellow when he was small.” Trump participated in marching drills, wore a uniform, and during his senior year attained the rank of captain. He was transferred from a student command position after the alleged hazing of a new freshman in his barracks by one of Trump’s subordinates; Trump describes the transfer as “a promotion”. In 2015, he told a biographer that NYMA gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military”.
Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years, beginning in August 1964. He then transferred to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which offered one of the few real estate studies departments in United States academia at the time. While there, he worked at the family’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, named for his paternal grandmother. Trump graduated from Wharton in May 1968 with a B.S. in economics.
Trump was not drafted during the Vietnam War. While in college from 1964 to 1968, he obtained four student deferments. In 1966, he was deemed fit for service based upon a military medical examination, and in 1968 was briefly classified as fit by a local draft board, but was given a 1-Y medical deferment in October 1968. In an interview for a 2015 biography, Trump attributed his medical deferment to heel spurs. In December 1969 Trump received a high number in the draft lottery, which would also have exempted him from service.
Trump has five children by three marriages, and has eight grandchildren. His first two marriages ended in divorces that were publicized in the tabloid media.
Trump married his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelníčková, on April 7, 1977, at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan in a ceremony performed by one of America’s most famous ministers, the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale. They had three children: son Donald Jr. (born December 31, 1977), daughter Ivanka (born October 30, 1981), and son Eric (born January 6, 1984). Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric now serve as executive vice presidents of the Trump Organization. Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988.
Trump has been nicknamed “The Donald” since Ivana referred to him as such in a 1989 Spy magazine cover story. By early 1990, Trump’s troubled marriage to Ivana and affair with actress Marla Maples had been reported in the tabloid press. Ivana Trump was granted an uncontested divorce in 1990, on the grounds that Trump’s treatment of her, such as his affair with Maples, had been “cruel and inhuman”. In 1992, he successfully sued Ivana for violating a gag clause in their divorce agreement by disclosing facts about him in her book. In 2015, Ivana said that she and Donald “are the best of friends”.
Maples gave birth to their daughter Tiffany, named after Tiffany & Company (Trump’s purchase of the air rights above the store in the 1980s allowed him to build Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue), on October 13, 1993. They married two months later on December 20, 1993. The couple formally separated in May 1997, with their divorce finalized in June 1999. Tiffany was raised by her mother in Calabasas, California, where she lived until her graduation from Viewpoint School.
In 1998, Trump began a relationship with Slovene model Melania Knauss, who became his third wife. They were engaged in April 2004 and were married on January 22, 2005, at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, on the island of Palm Beach, Florida, followed by a reception at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. In 2006, Melania became a naturalized United States citizen. On March 20, 2006, she gave birth to their son, whom they named Barron Trump. (Trump had previously used the pseudonym “John Baron” or “Barron” in some business deals and for other purposes. Having heard the language since his birth, Barron is fluent in Slovene. In a February 2009 interview on ABC’s news program Nightline, Trump commented that his love for his business had made it difficult for his first two wives to compete with his affection for work.
Trump’s brother, Fred Jr., predeceased their father Fred. Shortly after the latter died in 1999, the wife of Fred Jr.’s son gave birth to a son with serious medical problems. Trump and his family offered to pay the medical bills through Fred Sr.’s company (Fred Sr. freely provided medical coverage to his family through his company for decades). Fred III then sued the family for allegedly having used “undue influence” on a dementia-stricken Fred Sr. to get Fred III and his sister Mary a reduced share from their grandfather’s will, but Trump attributed the reduced share to his father’s dislike of Fred III’s mother, and Trump stopped the aid for Fred III’s son. The aid was resumed by court order pending outcome of the lawsuit, which was then settled.
Trump receives blessing from Greek Orthodox priest Emmanuel Lemelson, September 30, 2015
Trump is a Presbyterian. He has said that he began going to church at the First Presbyterian Church in the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens as a child. Trump attended Sunday school and had his confirmation at that church. In an April 2011 interview on The 700 Club, he commented: “I’m a Protestant,