“I WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” - TRUMP
After a grand entrance into the Republican presidential race on June 16, 2015, Trump will now occupy the White House
From his grand Trump Tower escalator entrance into the Republican presidential race on June 16, 2015, Donald Trump managed to be simultaneously charismatic and combative, elitist and populist, lewd and pious as he drilled into a lode of polarity and anti-Washington anger among American voters.
MOVEMENT NOT CAMPAIGN
It was his first run for public office and Trump, a real-estate developer, reality television star and self-confessed owner of a big ego, called it a movement, not a campaign. Some initially saw his campaign as a vanity project meant to indulge his ego and burnish his brand. Critics labeled him misogynistic, ill-informed, uncouth, unpresidential, a racist, a hypocrite, a demagogue and a sexual predator, all accusations he denied.
His hired advisers came to realise there was only so much they could do to rein in Trump. His inner circle was dominated by his three oldest children - Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka, along with Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner.
Trump was born to money on June 14, 1946, in the New York City borough of Queens, the fourth of five children of Fred Trump, who would become one of the city’s biggest developers and landlords, and his wife. It was Fred Trump who taught Donald the value of self-promotion and a killer instinct.
By his own admission, Trump was not an easy child and in the eighth grade his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy in hopes of instilling needed discipline. Through student and medical deferments during the Vietnam War, Trump would never serve in the US military but said the school gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Trump went to work for his father’s company, which focused on the outer New York City boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island and owned an estimated 15,000 apartments. In 1973 the Trumps were charged with racial bias in their rental practices before reaching a settlement with the U.S. government. With a $1 million (Sh100million) loan from his father, Trump eventually went into business himself in Manhattan, where he became a regular at some of the city’s most exclusive clubs and developed a reputation as a ladies’ man.
TRUMP TOWER FLAGSHIP
He soon made his mark with a series of real estate and development deals, including redoing an old hotel at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. In 1983 he opened his flagship, 58-story Trump Tower, which serves as both his primary residence and Trump Organisation headquarters.
More projects around the world would follow, including golf courses, the Mar-a-Lago private resort in Florida, New York’s venerable Plaza Hotel and casinos.
Trump’s projects had mixed success. The flops included the real estate-oriented Trump University, Trump Mortgage, Trump Airlines and Trump Vodka but it was his experience with four casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that took the golden luster off his empire.
Timothy O’Brien, author of “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald,” wrote that in the 1990s Trump was out of money and twice had to go to his siblings for loans. While he never filed for personal bankruptcy, the downturn in the gaming industry sent parts of Trump’s corporate empire to bankruptcy court in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009.
Trump promoted himself as the ultimate success story. He dated beautiful women, married three of them, had his own television show and erected skyscrapers that bore his name in big gold letters. Everything in his life was the greatest, the hugest, the classiest, the most successful, he said, even though critics.
Now, come January 2017, he will occupy the White House as Commander-in-Chief of the Free World with an estimated fortune of $3.7 billion (Sh300 billion).
US president-elect Donald Trump waves at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York on November 9.