Donald Trump, born Donald John Trump, is the newly elected 45th President of the United States. He was announced the 324th wealthiest person in the world and 113th richest in the US by Forbes Magazine in 2016. With a long-standing history and interest in politics, he is a firm Republican who has caused major uproar within the United States as well as worldwide with his recent actions as President.
Donald Trump was born in Queens, New York at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. He was the fourth of five children born to Frederick (Fred) Christ Trump and Mary Anne Trump, both of whom are now deceased. His siblings are Maryanne, Fred Jr., Elizabeth and Robert. His older brother Fred passed away in 1981 due to alcoholism, which is the reason why Trump has chosen to abstain from alcohol and cigarettes.
Trump’s father, born in the Bronx, had a career in real estate and construction and his mother moved to New York from her birthplace of Scotland. The pair married in 1936 and had a family, which they raised in Queens.
At the age of 13, Trump attended the New York Military Academy. His parents decided to send him to this school in order to channel his energy positively. Trump thrived at the academy, socially and academically as well as exceling in sport and leadership by the time he graduated in 1964. During the school holidays, he would work for his father’s company at construction sites.
He then went on to get a degree in economics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. Three years later, he took over his family’s real estate and construction firm and renamed it as the ‘Trump Organization’.
When Trump renamed the family real estate firm, he was said to have bigger aspirations than his father. He worked towards making them a reality by moving to Manhattan and meeting many successful people in business. Because of this, the business expanded exponentially and eventually became an umbrella company for hundreds of individual business ventures.
Trump had his first major real estate deal when he joined the remodeling of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in 1978. This project was greatly successful as it was situated alongside Grand Central Terminal. It was also that year that he finished his plans for the development of Trump Tower, a 58-story skyscraper in Manhattan. The building was complete in 1983 containing penthouse condominiums as well as a fully functional TV studio set.
Trump also jumped on board the Wollman Rink project when the original company was deemed unsuccessful in repairing the space. He took over the renovations, completed it in three months for a considerable amount less than the initial budget, and ran it for one year in which all profits were given to charity in return for the rink’s concession rights.
Trump is no stranger to many other successful real estate projects. He acquired the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida in 1985, which also housed a private club with members paying $150,000 per membership. He also acquired an old, vacant office building on Wall Street, which he revamped into becoming the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street. In 2001, he completed the Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower. He has also worked on several casinos such as the Harrah’s at Trump Plaza, Trump Castle and the Taj Mahal casino – all of which are in Atlantic City.
In terms of other career initiatives, Trump has had his name and image licensed for several real estate projects. However, this has caused immense strain on one of Trump’s business partners who is of Turkish decent due to his recent ban on Muslims from entering the US.
During Trump’s successful business ventures, he has never filed for personal bankruptcy. He has however had to do so for six of his hotel and casino businesses in order to re-negotiate debt.
These are: Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Plaza Hotel, Trump Castle Hotel and Casino, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts and Trump Entertainment Resorts. He was quoted in Newsweek in 2011, saying, “I do play with the bankruptcy laws – they’re very good for me” in trimming debt.
Trump has also contributed extensively towards investment in sport. In 1983, he purchased the New Jersey Generals, an American Football team from J.Walter Duncan, as well as operating in several golf courses worldwide. He’s also hosted a number of boxing matches – including Mike Tyson’s fight against Michael Spinks and given his name to a Tour de Trump cycling stage race.
Surprisingly, Trump has also worked considerably in the world of modeling and fashion. He owned part or all of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants as well as founding a modeling company called Trump Model Management. This initiative brought nearly 250 foreign fashion models in the US to work in fashion. The Trump Model Management project however brought about conflict, as he was sued for breach of contract and violating immigrant wage laws by one of the models. The case was dismissed due to a visa sponsorship issue.
It was in 1999 that Trump began making a name for himself in the world of politics. He formed an exploratory committee with the possibility of seeking the Reform Party’s nomination for the presidential race of 2000. However, he withdrew his candidacy after a poor showing of support in California. In 2004, he produced and starred in the NBC reality TV show, The Apprentice, whereby contestants fought for management positions. This TV series lead to a few spinoffs, allowing Trump to gain more mainstream media attention. In 2012, he considered running for president again but was not given a lot of support due to his doubt concerning Obama’s nationality.
In 2015, Trump attempted once again to become president of the US. He officially announced his ambitions on June 16 by saying, “I am officially running for president of the United States and we are going to make our country great again.” He concluded his statement with, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” During his campaign, he made several derogatory comments about Mexicans and immigration, which caused his long-running relationship with NBC to end. “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” the NBC said in a statement. Because of this, they cut the airing of Miss USA, Miss Universe Pageants as well as The Celebrity Apprentice.
Trump reacted by filing a lawsuit against the media company but other businesses such as Macy’s and The Professional Golfer’s Association of America too began withdrawing their business relationship with Trump.
Despite the bad media coverage it inevitably created more media attention for Trump, which worked in his favor. He participated in a Fox News presidential debate and was named one of the top ten candidates. He managed to maintain a lead over his opponents and gained 53% of the votes in a three-way race in Indiana in May 2016. Because of this – and the fact that Senator Cruz suspended his campaign – he gained the support of 1,238 delegates, a number higher than the count needed to secure nomination. Soon after, he was officially voted as a 2016 Republican presidential nominee – to which he announced that Mike Pence was his choice for vice president.
On July 21, 2016, Trump accepted the nomination and gave a speech – one of the longest in acceptance speech history – outlining his campaign and the issues that he hopes to tackle. This included violence in the US, the economy, immigration, trade and terrorism. “My plan will begin with safety at home – which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism. There can be no prosperity without law and order,” he boldly announced. His stance on immigration was that he would “build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring in.”
Trump persisted to win the majority of the votes and was elected the 45th president of the United States on November 8, 2016. In his acceptance speech he revealed, “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be the president for all Americans,” while admitting that his presidency will create a “better and brighter future” for all.
Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on January 20th 2017, which caused a slew of mixed emotions among Americans and other nationalities. Many worldwide protested against him the day after his inauguration in something called ‘The Women’s March’, in order to protect women’s rights and equality for all. Now, Trump has already put into motion several of the things that he promised during the elections, such as reviving the Dakota Access Pipeline, removed Obama Care, banning federal funding of non-governmental organizations abroad where abortions are legal as well as his campaign to build a wall at the border of the US and Mexico in order to diminish or eradicate immigrants from entering.
Additionally, he has issued a travel ban on seven Muslim countries, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, for at least 90 days in order to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.” He was also said to give priority over Christians as opposed to any other religion when it came to travel within the US. This lead thousands to protest at airports around the country including Boston, Los Angeles, Denver and Washington DC.
The way in which the public sees Trump is extremely polarized. While some believe that he is best thing to happen to American politics, others are fighting hard in order to have him impeached. Time magazine awarded him as its Person the Year in 2016 for “reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s.” Alternatively, psychologists named Steven. J. Rubenzer and Thomas. R. Fascchingbauer describe Trump as having “sky high extroversion combined with off-the-chart low agreeableness.” They say that high extroversion is associated with relentless reward seeking while low agreeableness is associated with the extent to which a person appears caring, loving and polite. In this way, Trump has been portrayed as constantly seeking attention while being rude, arrogant and lacking in empathy.
Before Trump entered the world of politics, many saw him as a wealthy and high-class businessman. His TV show, The Apprentice, portrayed him as a savvy gentleman who asked all of the right questions and listened to others before making a decision. After his involvement in politics however, his public image changed quite considerably and many describe his brand as being tarnished for “being a jerk and a loud mouth for outrageous issues that are far outside the mainstream”.
However his public image has changed over the years, one thing is for certain – the public seems to have two very different opinions of the man. Either he’s seen as a “successful businessman,” or “a wind bag, scam artist and a fraud”.
Trump married Ivana Zelnickova Winklmayr, a New York fashion model and an alternate on the 1972 Czech Olympic Ski Team, in 1977. After the birth of their first child, Donald Trump Jr., Ivana Trump took on a number of responsibilities such as the design of the Trump Organization and supervised the renovation of the Commodore and the Plaza Hotel. The pair then had two more children, Ivanka and Eric, but went through a rather public divorce that was finalized in 1992.
In 1993, Trump married the actress Maria Maples – which also ended in divorce in 1999. This marriage made Trump stepfather to Maria’s child, Tiffany.
Trump’s third marriage was in 2005 to Slovenian model Melania Knauss, a woman more than 20 years younger than him. In March 2006, Melania gave birth to Trump’s fourth child, Barron William Trump. At present, three of his children work as executive vice presidents for the Trump Organization.
Written by: Helena Lorimer