|45th President of the United States|
January 20, 2017
|Vice President||Mike Pence|
|Preceded by||Barack Obama|
|Born||Donald John Trump
June 14, 1946
New York City
|Political party||Republican (1987–99, 2009–11, 2012–present)|
|Relatives||See Family of Donald Trump|
|Alma mater||The Wharton School (BS in Econ.)|
|Net worth||US$3.5 billion (May 2017)|
President of the United States
Business and personal
Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is the 45th and current President of the United States, in office since January 20, 2017. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.
Trump was born in the New York City borough of Queens. He earned an economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He followed his grandmother Elizabeth and father Fred in running the family real estate company, managing the firm, which he named The Trump Organization, from 1971 until his 2017 inauguration. Trump's real estate career focused on building or renovating skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. He has also started multiple side ventures, marketed real estate and various products with his name and co-authored several books. He produced and hosted The Apprentice, a reality television business game show, from 2003 to 2015. According to Forbes, he was the world's 544th richest person as of May 2017[update], with an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion.
Trump had expressed interest in politics as early as 1987. He entered the 2016 presidential race as a Republican, and defeated sixteen opponents in the primaries. Commentators described his political positions as populist, protectionist, and nationalist. His campaign received extensive free media coverage; many of his public statements were controversial or false. Trump won the general election on November 8, 2016 against Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. He became the oldest and wealthiest person ever to assume the presidency, the first without prior military or government service, and the fifth to have won the election despite losing the popular vote. His election and policies have sparked numerous protests.
In domestic policy, Trump has sought, so far without success, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He ordered a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, citing security concerns; a revised version of the ban was implemented after legal challenges. In foreign policy, he withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and from the Paris Climate Agreement, partially reversed the Cuban Thaw, pressured North Korea over the acceleration of their missile tests and nuclear program, and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
After Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey, the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to continue the investigation into potential links between Russia and Trump campaign associates, and any related matters.
- 1 Family and personal life
- 2 Business career
- 2.1 Real estate
- 2.2 Branding and licensing
- 2.3 Legal affairs and bankruptcies
- 2.4 Side ventures
- 2.5 Foundation
- 2.6 Conflicts of interest
- 3 Media career
- 4 Political career up to 2015
- 5 2016 presidential campaign
- 6 Presidency
- 6.1 Transition
- 6.2 First 100 days
- 6.3 Domestic policy
- 6.4 Foreign policy
- 6.5 Investigations
- 6.6 Political image
- 6.7 2020 presidential campaign
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
Family and personal life
Trump's ancestors originated from the German village of Kallstadt in the Palatinate on his father's side, and from the Outer Hebrides in Scotland on his mother's side. His grandparents and his mother were born in Europe. His mother's grandfather was also christened "Donald".
Trump's paternal grandfather, Friedrich Trump, first emigrated to the United States in 1885 at the age of 16, and became a citizen in 1892. He amassed a fortune operating boom-town restaurants and boarding houses in the Seattle area and the Klondike region of Canada during its gold rush. On a visit to Kallstadt, he met Elisabeth Christ and married her in 1902. The couple settled in New York permanently in 1905. Frederick died from influenza during the 1918 pandemic.
Trump's father Fred was born in 1905 in The Bronx. Fred started working with his mother in real estate when he was 15, shortly after his father's death. Their company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, was primarily active in the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Fred eventually built and sold thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments. The company later became The Trump Organization after Donald Trump took over in 1971.
Trump's mother Mary Anne was born in Tong, Lewis, Scotland. At age 18 in 1930, she emigrated to New York, where she worked as a maid. Fred and Mary were married in 1936 and raised their family in Queens.
Trump's uncle John was an electrical engineer, physicist, and inventor. He worked as a professor at MIT from 1936 to 1973. During World War II, he was involved in radar research for the Allies and helped design X-ray machines that were used to treat cancer.
Early life and education
Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946, at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens, New York City. He was the fourth of five children born to Frederick Trump (1905–1999) and Mary Anne Trump (née MacLeod, 1912–2000).
Trump grew up in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens. He attended the Kew-Forest School from kindergarten through seventh grade. At age 13, he enrolled in the New York Military Academy, a private boarding school, after his parents discovered that he had made frequent trips into Manhattan without their permission.
In August 1964, Trump began his higher education at Fordham University. After two years, he transferred to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, because it offered one of the few real-estate studies departments in United States academia at the time.
In addition to his father, Trump was inspired by Manhattan developer William Zeckendorf, vowing to be "even bigger and better". While at Wharton, he worked at the family business, Elizabeth Trump and Son, graduating in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.
Trump did not enlist or get 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. In September of that year, he was given a medical deferment, which he later attributed to heel spurs. In 1969, he received a high number in the draft lottery, which gave him a low probability to be called to military service.
Trump was 30 years old when he married his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelníčková in 1977 at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan in a ceremony performed by the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale. They had three children: Donald Jr. (b. 1977), Ivanka (b. 1981), and Eric (b. 1984). Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988. The couple divorced in 1992, following Trump's affair with actress Marla Maples.
In October 1993, Maples gave birth to Trump's daughter, who was named Tiffany after high-end retailer Tiffany & Company. Maples and Trump were married two months later in December 1993. They divorced in 1999, and Tiffany was raised by Marla in California.
In 2005, Trump married his third wife, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, Florida. The ceremony was followed by a reception at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. In 2006, Melania became a United States citizen and gave birth to a son, Barron. Melania became First Lady of the United States upon Trump's inauguration as the nation's 45th president in January 2017.
Upon his inauguration as president, Trump delegated the management of his real estate business to his two adult sons, Eric and Don Jr. His daughter Ivanka resigned from The Trump Organization and moved to Washington with her husband Jared Kushner. She serves as an assistant to the president, and he is a Senior Advisor in the White House.
Trump's ancestors were Lutheran on his father's side in Germany and Presbyterian on his mother's side in Scotland. His parents married in a Manhattan Presbyterian church in 1936. As a child, he attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, and had his Confirmation there. In the 1970s, his family joined the Marble Collegiate Church (an affiliate of the Reformed Church in America) in Manhattan. The pastor at that church, Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking and The Art of Living, ministered to Trump's family and mentored him until Peale's death in 1993. Trump, who is Presbyterian, has cited Peale and his works during interviews when asked about the role of religion in his personal life.
Trump receives Holy Communion, but he has said that he does not ask God for forgiveness. He stated: "I think if I do something wrong, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture....I guess that [Communion] is a form of asking for forgiveness”. On the campaign trail, Trump has referred to The Art of the Deal as his second favorite book after the Bible, saying, "Nothing beats the Bible." In a 2016 speech to Liberty University, he referred to "2 Corinthians" (pronounced "Second Corinthians") as "Two Corinthians", eliciting chuckles from the audience. The New York Times reported that Evangelical Christians nationwide thought "that his heart was in the right place, that his intentions for the country were pure".
Trump has had associations with a number of Christian spiritual leaders, including Florida pastor Paula White, who has been called his "closest spiritual confidant." In 2015, he received a blessing from Greek Orthodox priest Emmanuel Lemelson and in 2016, he released a list of his religious advisers, including James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Ralph Reed and others. Referring to his daughter Ivanka's conversion to Judaism before her marriage to Jared Kushner, Trump said: "I have a Jewish daughter; and I am very honored by that."
Trump's physician, Harold Bornstein, issued a 2016 medical report that showed Trump's blood pressure and liver and thyroid function to be in normal ranges. It also showed that he is overweight and takes statins to lower his cholesterol.
Trump never drinks alcohol; this decision arose in part from watching his older brother Fred Jr. suffer from alcoholism that contributed to his early death in 1981. He also said that he has never smoked cigarettes or consumed drugs, including marijuana.
Trump said that he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father. He appeared on the initial Forbes 400 list of wealthy individuals in 1982 with an estimated $200 million fortune, including an "undefined" share of his parents' estate. During the late 1980s he became a billionaire, and made the Forbes World's Billionaires list for the first time in 1989, but he was absent from the Forbes 400 list following business losses from 1990 to 1995; he reportedly borrowed from his siblings' trusts in 1993. His father's estate, valued at more than $20 million, was divided in 1999 among Trump, his three surviving siblings and their children.
When Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency on June 16, 2015, he released a one-page financial summary that stated a net worth of $8,737,540,000. The following month, he filed a 92-page Federal Election Commission (FEC) financial disclosure form and declared his net worth was "in excess of ten billion dollars". In his presidential announcement speech, he said "I'm really rich", and said this would make him less indebted to large campaign donors. Forbes called his net worth estimate "a whopper", setting their own estimate at $4.1 billion in 2015. Trump valued his "properties under development" at $293 million; Forbes said they could not evaluate those deals, and booked them for $0. Trump's 2015 FEC disclosure reported $362 million in total income for the year 2014.
After Trump made controversial remarks about illegal immigrants in 2015, he lost business contracts with several companies; this reduced his Forbes estimate by $125 million. Consumer boycotts and reduced bookings may have further affected his brand value during the presidential campaign. Trump's 104-page FEC disclosure in May 2016 still claimed a total wealth over $10 billion, unchanged from 2015. The release of the Access Hollywood tapes in October 2016 put further pressure on his brand, but real estate experts predicted a positive rebound from being President after he was elected.
In its 2017 billionaires' ranking, Forbes estimated Trump's net worth at $3.5 billion (544th in the world, 201st in the U.S.) making him one of the richest politicians in American history. These estimates fluctuate from year to year, and among various analysts. In July 2016 Bloomberg News had pegged his wealth at $3 billion, calling it an increase thanks to his presidential nomination, whereas Forbes had ranked him 324th in the world (113th in the U.S.) with $4.5 billion just a few months earlier. The discrepancies among these estimates and with Trump's own figures stem mainly from the uncertain values of appraised property and of his personal brand.
Trump started his career at his father's real estate development company, Elizabeth Trump and Son, which owned middle-class rental housing in New York City's outer boroughs, but also had business elsewhere. For example, during his undergraduate study, Trump joined his father Fred in successfully revitalizing the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, boosting the occupancy rate from 66% to 100%.
When his father became chairman of the board in 1971, Trump was promoted to president of the company and renamed it The Trump Organization. In 1973, he and his father drew wider attention when the Justice Department contended that the organization systematically discriminated against African Americans wishing to rent apartments rather than merely screening out people based on low income as the Trumps stated. Under an agreement reached in 1975, the Trumps made no admission of wrongdoing, and made the Urban League an intermediary for qualified minority applicants. His adviser and attorney during (and after) that period was Roy Cohn, who responded to attacks by counterattacking with maximum force, and who valued both positive and negative publicity, which were attitudes that Trump appreciated.
In 1978, Trump consummated his first major real estate deal in Manhattan when he purchased a half-share in the decrepit Commodore Hotel. The purchase was largely funded by a $70 million construction loan that was jointly guaranteed by Fred Trump and the Hyatt hotel chain. Designed by architect Der Scutt, the project leveraged competing interests and by taking advantage of tax breaks. After remodeling, the hotel reopened as the Grand Hyatt Hotel, located next to Grand Central Terminal.
Also in 1978, Trump finished negotiations to develop Trump Tower, a 58-story, 202-meter (663-foot) skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, which The New York Times attributed to his "persistence" and "skills as a negotiator". To make way for the new building, a crew of undocumented Polish workers demolished an old Bonwit Teller store, including art deco features that had initially been marked for preservation. The building was completed in 1983 and houses both the primary penthouse condominium residence of Trump and the headquarters of The Trump Organization. Architectural critic Paul Goldberger said in 1983 that he was surprised to find the tower's atrium was "the most pleasant interior public space to be completed in New York in some years". Trump Tower was the setting of the NBC television show The Apprentice and includes a fully functional television studio set.
Repairs on Central Park's Wollman Rink begun in 1980 by a general contractor who was unconnected to Trump. Despite an anticipated two and a half year construction timeframe, the repairs remained incomplete in 1986. Trump took over the project, completed it in three months for $1.95 million, $775,000 less than the initial budget. He operated the rink for a year with most profits going to charity and public work projects, in exchange for the rink's concession rights.
In 1988 Trump acquired the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan for a record-setting $407 million and asked his wife Ivana to manage its operation. Trump invested $50 million to restore the building, which he called "the Mona Lisa". According to hotel expert Thomas McConnell, the Trumps boosted it from a three-star to a four-star ranking and sold it in 1995, by which time Ivana was no longer involved.
In 1994, Trump became involved with a building on Columbus Circle that was swaying in the wind. He began a reconstruction project that stopped the swaying and gave the building a full makeover. Trump thereafter owned commercial space in that 44-story mixed-use tower (hotel and condominium), which he named Trump International Hotel and Tower.
In 1996, Trump acquired the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, which was a vacant seventy-one story skyscraper on Wall Street that had briefly been the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1930. After an extensive renovation, the high-rise was renamed the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.
In 1997, he began construction on Riverside South, which he dubbed Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. The project encountered delays the following year because a subcontracter had to re