Who is Donald J. Trump?
Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York, the fourth of five children of Frederick C. and Mary MacLeod Trump.
Frederick Trump was a developer who specialized in building and operating middle-income apartments in New York City. At the age of 13, Donald was sent to the New York Military Academy, where he did well as a student leader and stand-out athlete.
Graduating in 1964, Trump entered Fordham University and two years later transferred to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics.
Trump followed his father into the real estate business where competition was stiff and profit margins thin.
In 1971, Donald Trump was handed control of his father’s firm, renaming it the Trump Organization. Certain of New York City’s potential, he got involved in large, high-profile projects in Manhattan, earning big profits, influential connections and public recognition.
His projects included Penn Central’s Commodore Hotel adjacent to Grand Central Station in 1974, the Der Scutt designed Grand Hyatt in 1980 and the monumental 58-story $200 million Trump Tower adjacent to Tiffany and Company on Fifth Avenue, which opened in 1982 and featured a six-story marble atrium with an 80-foot waterfall.
At the same time, Trump was looking into the lucrative casino business and in 1980 acquired a piece of property in Atlantic City in partnership with the Holiday Inn Corporation. The $250 million Harrah’s at Trump Plaza complex opened in 1984 as Harrah’s at Trump Plaza. Trump bought out Holiday Inn soon thereafter and renamed the facility Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.
Trump also took over a Hilton casino-hotel in Atlantic City and renamed the $320 million complex Trump’s Castle and later the largest hotelcasino in the world while it was still under construction, the Trump Taj Mahal, which opened its doors in 1990.
In 1990, the real estate market declined, reducing the value of and income from Trump’s empire, which required a massive infusion of loans to keep it from collapsing.
Trump was able to climb back from a $900 million deficit and in 2000 made headlines again when an appeals court ruled he had the right to finish an 856-foot-tall condominium.
In 1999, Trump looked into running for president of the United States but after a poor performance in the Reform Party’s California primary, he pulled his hat out of the ring.
In 2004 Trump cashed in on his high-profile celebrity and began producing and starring in the NBC reality series The Apprentice, which was an instant hit and made the television show’s catchphrase — “You’re fired” — a household term.
On June 16, 2015, Trump made his ambitions for the White House official when he announced he would join a crowded Republican field, boasting that “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
In 1977, Trump married Ivana Zelnickova Winklmayr, a New York fashion model who had been on the 1972 Czech Olympic Ski Team. After the 1977 birth of the couple’s first of three children, Donald John Trump Jr., Ivana Trump was named vice president in charge of design in the Trump Organization and played a major role in supervising the renovation of the Commodore and the Plaza Hotel. The couple had two more children together — Ivanka (born in 1981) and Eric (born in 1984) — and went through a highly publicized divorce, which was finalized in 1992.
In 1993 Trump married Marla Maples, an actress with whom he already had a daughter, Tiffany (born in 1993). Trump would ultimately file for divorce from Maples in 1997, which became final in June 1999.
In January 2005, Trump married Slovenian model Melania Knauss, more than twenty years his junior. Among the many celebrity guests at the wedding were Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. She gave birth to their son, Barron William Trump, in March 2006.
Trump’s children — Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric— work as executive vice-presidents for The Trump Organization.
Supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton watch and wait at her election night rally in New York, on Tuesday.