Election 2016

Meet Donald J. Trump

Get the scoop on the life of Donald Trump

May 05, 2016

Donald Trump is a businessman turned politician. He is now expected to be the presidential nominee for the Republican Party.

Donald John Trump was born in New York City on June 14, 1946, to Frederick and Mary MacLeod Trump. As a teenager, Trump attended New York Military Academy, where he was an athlete and a student leader. His college years were spent at Fordham University, in the Bronx, and at the Wharton School, the business school at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from Wharton in 1968, Trump went to work for his father as a real-estate developer.

Building a Brand

In 1971, Trump took control of the family business. He renamed it the Trump Organization. One of his first major projects was a hotel in New York City. He renovated a building, found a business partner to help with the development, and re-launched the property in 1980 as the Grand Hyatt. The hotel was a success.

Two years later, Trump opened Trump Tower. The luxury skyscraper was lined in marble and had an indoor waterfall. It became an instant tourist attraction. In later years, Trump would go on to build gambling casinos, resorts, and golf courses. He also ventured into new businesses, introducing Trump Steaks, Trump Natural Spring Water, and an airline called Trump Shuttle. In 1987, Trump published his autobiography. For nearly a year, the book was a best seller.

From Business to Politics

By the late 1990s, Trump’s attention had turned to politics. He announced in 1999 that he would run for president. In order to enter the race, he changed his party affiliation from Republican to Reform Party, a third-party alternative to the Republican and Democratic parties. But Trump quit the campaign before the first primaries had begun. Five years later, he was on TV, starring in the reality-television program, The Apprentice. A spin-off, The Celebrity Apprentice, came next, in 2008.

While his TV shows were hits, Trump faced challenges in other parts of his life. In 2005, Trump University was sued by the state of New York. Four years later, his casino company filed for bankruptcy.

In 2015, in an event at Trump Tower, Trump announced once again that he would run for President of the United States. Republican party leaders at first dismissed his candidacy. But Trump proved he could compete, pulling out big wins in primaries and caucuses nationwide. After the Indiana primary on May 3, it became all but certain that Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump has four adult children: Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany. In 2005, he married model and businessperson Melania Knauss. The couple has a 10-year-old son named Barron. Trump has eight grandchildren.

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