The Donald Trump story could have been just another interesting tale of success, but given that its main protagonist is the Donald himself, it simply cannot be anything less than spectacular. Everything the famous magnate does is larger than life, constantly amazing everyone who witnesses his evolution. So how does the Trump biography begin?
Oh, and we won’t ask where it will eventually lead, because as he has proven times and times again, there is no telling what the real estate developer will do next.
Donald Trump (Source)
Parents and Lineage
Born on June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York, Donald Trump is the fourth of five siblings. Part of the reason for his tremendous success came from the fact that his parents, Mary Anne and Fred Trump, were quite wealthy themselves, and they financially supported his early business endeavors. Mary Anne (née MacLeod) came to the States from Scotland, the Isle of Lewis to be more exact. His father, Frederick Christ Trump, was of German ancestry, even though in his first book Trump: The Art of the Deal the magnate claimed to have Swedish origins.
Donald Trump young (Courtesy of Donald Trump)
Donald Trump with his father Frederick Christ Trump (Courtesy of Donald Trump)
At Trump Village, Fred’s last project, in Queens (left image)
Donald Trump’s mother, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump (Courtesy of Public Domain)
It was his grandfather who decided to Anglicize the family name, after he had come to America as Friedrich Drumpf. While most authors would have probably felt awkward about having inaccurately described their family roots, Donald had no problem in serving as a grand marshal in the German-American Steuben Parade in NYC twelve years after his memoir slash business advice book went No.1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Early Life and Education
Trump’s education was reportedly a good one, even though he himself has stated that he didn’t feel he had changed since childhood. In a recent series of interviews with Michael D’Antonio for yet another Donald Trump biography book, he said: “When I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I’m basically the same.” And who are we to argue against that?
He and a few of his siblings went at the private Kew-Forest School in Queens. Always dynamic and nearly impossible to restrain, young Donald would constantly get into trouble, which eventually led his parents to decide that military school could be the best way to help him learn discipline and channel his energy towards more constructive actions.
He graduated from the New York Military Academy in 1964 with good academic and social accomplishments. According to him, he finished the NYMA with better military training than many other young people in the army. It appears that Donald Trump’s high school years were nothing like what most of us have experienced.
Donald Trump with his parents Fred and Mary (Courtesy of Donald Trump)
The next step in his education was Fordham University, where he studied for two years before transferring to one of the very few universities which had a real estate studies department at the time, namely the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.
Real Estate Career
Trump was introduced to real estate development by his father. Even during his university years, the young student would spend his summers working for Fred Trump at his Elizabeth Trump & Son company. After college he joined his father and started to gradually build up his career way above what his parents had expected.
While Fred Trump was a good investor and successful businessman too, his son was convinced that he could do more. And he definitely did, there is no denying that. Even though Donald Trump is known for a significant number of bankruptcies as well, his overwhelming success and real accomplishments in the industry are impossible to deny.
After seven years of working together, Trump Sr. gave control of his company to his obviously talented son. Soon afterwards, the young entrepreneur renamed his company to The Trump Organization, and began getting involved in huge Manhattan projects which for most people would have been much too intimidating to even consider. With remarkable vision and determination, he took upon immense challenges which held the potential for great profit, believing that an attractive architecture and the right kind of publicity could turn any building into a lucrative investment.
Donald Trump’s celebrity status began to take shape after the complete renovation of the Commodore Hotel. The unprofitable building received a completely new glass façade and was turned into the luxurious Grand Hyatt Hotel, which was opened in 1980. The immediate and tremendous economic success of the hotel put Trump into the limelight, people referring to him as one the most controversial real estate developers.
As he took on more projects, Trump’s wealth continued to grow, and so did his fame. In fact, regardless of how many business difficulties he went through, he made sure that his personal fortune and place in the media remained unaffected. Donald Trump books on real estate and other business-related topics began to pour in, a number of them immediately becoming best sellers.
Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago)
Trump Towers Sunny Isles Beach
Trump Tower Hollywood
Trump International Hotel Las Vegas
Trump Towers Rio
Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver
Trump Tower Punta del Este
Trump Tower at Century City
Business and Political Ventures
Real estate development was not enough to make Donald Trump a billionaire. He enthusiastically launched himself in a number of other businesses, always making sure that his fame and public recognition wouldn’t falter. He has marketed his name on a baffling number of products, including a line of menswear and men’s accessories, a fragrance, chocolate, home furnishings, vodka, and even a board game.
Many of those initiatives ended up discontinued, but failure was never a deterring factor for the business mogul. He would always find a way to rebuild his success, even if that meant leaving others behind to deal with their part of the loss. A very good example of that is how Trump is now working hard on becoming the next US President, while the once glitzy and glamorous Trump Taj Mahal Casino is making the news for being a mere shadow of what it used to be, leaving investors angry and empty-handed.
Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2016 (Source)
The business icon first announced his intention to dabble into politics back in 1988, when he mentioned that he was considering running for president but never did. He repeated the story in 2004 and 2012, and he also announced his intention to become the governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, without actually following through.
In June 2015 he officially announced his candidacy for president of the United States, not failing to mention that he would “be the greatest jobs president God ever created”.
Preliminary surveys have shown that he is the 2016 Republican presidential frontrunner, which has most political veterans mystified. Notoriously outspoken and famously unafraid to share his most controversial of personal opinions, Trump is one of the most authentic characters on the political stage. Experts believe that this is one of the main reasons for which voters are inclined to favor him. Money is another reason, because people tend to love the rich.
There is no easy answer to the burning question of why is Donald Trump rich. While his privileged origins as the son of a millionaire did help, there is no denying that he is a sort of a genius when it comes to building empires. He is also quite apt at creating a type of in-your-face persona and attracting all the media attention a man possibly can. His bombastic personality, loud opinions and gaudy nature placed him among the most easily recognizable people on the planet, which is always a great thing for business.
It must be a combination of all these factors that has ensured him the kind of fame he currently enjoys. He has always worked to build up his empire by fighting on several fronts at once. While his employees were raising huge buildings or renovating massive casinos, he was entertaining America in his reality TV show, The Apprentice. Meanwhile, Donald Trump books were being sold like hot cakes, and people were paying big money to have his name associated with their buildings.
Trump’s net worth has been and will continue to be a hot topic for many years. People want to know just how much money a flamboyant celebrity like him has got. But the answer is always elusive, especially when the magnate keeps boasting about how much larger his wealth really is compared to what the media says. It doesn’t matter what big authorities in the industry say about his fortune – he will always claim to have more.
Just one month after announcing his presidential run, he proudly announced that his fortune was in excess of $10 billion, even though according to Forbes and the Bloomberg Billionaire Index had estimated his wealth between $2.9 million and $4 billion. Immediately after Trump’s controversial comments on Mexican immigrants, he lost a series of major business partners, which resulted in a significant loss of money as well, Forbes estimating his new net worth at a mere $125 million.
That might seem like a huge loss, but we don’t expect the man to lose his mind over one setback. He’s been through this too many times before, and he knows the game all too well. Meanwhile, he can still play the generous grandfather to the Trump grandchildren, giving them expensive gifts, and maybe even taking them on fun trips onboard his oh-so-famous Donald Trump private jet.
There is not much that remains private in the lives of loud celebrities like Donald Trump. His weddings and divorces were extensively covered by the media, and his five children have all been raised up in the spotlight. The Trump family is a large one, but for the Republican presidential nominee hopeful his work always comes first.
In 1977, at age 31, he married his first wife, model Ivana Zelnickova from the Czech Republic. They had three children together: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. Ivana was the one who first referred to her husband as The Donald, and the media was quick to pick the nickname up and popularize it. They stayed together for fourteen years, before getting divorced in 1991.
Trump and his first wife Ivana Trump (Source)
Actress Marla Maples began her relationship with Trump as a secret affair while the billionaire was still married to Zelnickova. They eventually married in 1993, two months after the birth of their daughter, Tiffany Trump. They divorced six years later.
Marla Maples, second wife of Donald Trump
Now the name of Donald Trump’s wife is Melania Knauss. She too used to be a model, and now she works as a jewelry and watch designer. Knauss was born in Slovenia, but became a naturalized US citizen after she married the magnate in 2005. One year after their marriage, Trump’s fifth child (and Knauss’ first) was born. His name is Barron William Trump, and his first name was probably inspired by the pseudonym his father sometimes used in business transactions, which was John Baron.
Donald Trump’s wife – Melania Knauss
The Trump Children
While Barron is only ten years old and has yet to become the center of media attention, his older siblings are quite busy being celebrities and upping their wealth. Just in case you were wondering, Trump children’s net worth is nothing to sneeze at either.
Donald Trump Jr. ($150 million net worth) was faced with the reality of having famous parents at the challenging age of 12, when their divorce made headlines. He had a hard time with schoolmates making fun of his family situation, and as a college student he became quite known for getting drunk and getting into fights. His passion for hunting, however, helped him find some kind of balance and stay away from too much typical celebrity child drama. He is now married to a former model and has five children.
Donald first worked for his father at age 13, as a dock attendant at Trump Castle, earning minimum wage plus tips. After he graduated from college in 2001, he went to work for Trump Sr. again, and is now an executive vice president at The Trump Organization, helping with its international expansion. Together with his younger siblings Ivanka and Eric, Donald also founded the Trump Hotel Collections.
Donald Trump Jr.
Ivanka Trump ($150million net worth) is a highly successful business woman and an executive vice president of acquisitions and development for her father’s company, The Trump Organization. Just like her older brother and father before her, she attended The Wharton School.
After graduation she went to work for real estate developer Bruce Ratner for a year, and in 2005 she received her own office in the Trump Tower. Ivanka also dabbled in modeling for a while, which eventually led her to creating her own line of jewelry, clothing, shoes and accessories, carried by high-end brands such as Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.
In 2009 she married Jewish real estate investor Jared Kushner, and they have two children together. Before their wedding, Ivanka converted to Orthodox Judaism, leading a kosher life and observing the Sabbath. Donald Trump, who is Presbyterian, has declared that he is perfectly fine with her choice and that he fully supports her decision.
Eric Trump ($150 million net worth) has always preferred to avoid media attention. He chose to complete his education at Georgetown University, and start working for his father immediately after graduation, holding a similar position to his sister, only focused on constructions. He also owns Virginia’s largest vineyard, Trump Vinery.
Eric is a generous philanthropist who started his own foundation – the Eric Trump Foundation – which is dedicated to raising money for terminally ill children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He has so far pledged to donate almost $28 million. He married TV producer and personal trainer Lara Yunaska in 2012.
Eric Trump (Source)
Tiffany Trump was raised by her mother Marla Maples, and she seems to have chosen a very different path for her life, as compared to her older siblings. She is currently studying at the University of Pennsylvania, and even though she did show some interest in business as a teen, she now hopes to become a music or fashion icon.
In 2011 she launched her debut single Like a Bird, and she also landed an internship at Vogue with a little help from her sister Ivanka. Now busy being friends with other rich kids with famous parents, Tiffany still has time to figure out where the future will lead her.
Barron Trump is very young, yet he already shows similar passions to his father’s. His mother, Melania Knauss-Trump, says she sometimes calls him little Donald, because the boy loves to build things, then tear them down, and then build something up again. He should probably not be allowed anywhere near the lavish Donald Trump car collection or the Trump helicopter.
The kid gets spoiled in many different ways, and he already loves to wear suites more than he likes comfy loungewear. Apparently, his mother pays special attention to his skin as well, pampering it with super expensive caviar moisturizer every day. He is still kept away from the public eye, but we are sure we’ll see more of the young Trump in the years to come.
The Trump family history is a complex one, with two divorces, three marriages, five children, and seven grandchildren. Not all children grew up with their billionaire father nearby, and sometimes they even rebelled against him. Donald Jr., for instance, didn’t speak to his father for a year before patching things up back again. Tiffany was raised thousands of miles away from his empire, but he was there for important occasions, such as her high school graduation. And we’re pretty sure that if she were to check the Trump Organization careers department, she would find at least one vacant spot to her liking.
So basically being a Trump certainly does have its perks. What remains to be seen is if moving to the White House is one of them.
Eric Trump, left, Lara Yunaska Trump, Donald Trump, Barron Trump, Melania Trump, Vanessa Haydon Trump, Kai Madison Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Donald John Trump III and Ivanka Trump. (Christopher Gregory / Getty Images)
Donald Trump Quotes
Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.
You have to think anyway, so why not think big?
When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.
Everything in life is luck.
With out passion you don’t have energy, with out energy you have nothing.
Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.
It’s always good to be underestimated.