Donald Trump Biography

Both loved and hated for his brash statements on all topics, Donald Trump cemented his place in the American social and political landscape with his 2016 campaign as the Republican candidate for president, ultimately becoming the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. Read this biography to learn more about the business mogul and reality show star turned presidential candidate.
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Business Personality / TV Personality

Born: 14 June 1946
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Best known as: The mogul and reality show star who became the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017.

Name at birth: Donald John Trump

Donald Trump has made his name synonymous with New York-sized hustle, money and ego, and his nomination as the Republican candidate for president in 2016 and eventual victory cemented his place in the American consciousness. Donald Trump started young in his father's New York real estate business, and by the 1970s had made himself a Manhattan deal-maker, somehow talking banks and city government into financing his ambitious developments. He built the grandiose Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in 1982, and soon he moved into the casino business in New Jersey. Outspoken and flamboyant, Donald Trump became a favorite of the press, and his multiple marriages and divorces were regular tabloid fodder. (Trump was married to model Ivana Zelnicek from 1977-92 and to Marla Maples from 1993-99. He married his third wife, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, on 22 January 2005.) Trump went suddenly on the skids in 1990, finding himself over $900 million in debt and facing bankruptcy. But ever the dealmaker, he rebounded; by the year 2000 he was again worth over a billion dollars. He talked publicly about running for the U.S. presidency the same year, then decided against it. In 2004 he began playing the demanding boss-man in what became a long-running NBC reality series, The Apprentice. ("You're fired," his ritualistic dismissal of the show's losers, became a popular catch-phrase.) He also made noises about running for president in the elections of 2008 and 2012, but never formally tossed his hat in the ring until June of 2015, when he said "I am officially running for president of the United States." He quickly became the Republican front-runner, both loved and hated for his brash statements on all topics, like his demand for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico (paid for by Mexicans) and his call for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." Trump's last remaining competitors dropped out of the race in May of 2016, leaving him as the presumptive Republican nominee for 2016. He named Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate in July that year, and a week later was officially nominated at the GOP convention on July 19, 2016. He faced Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (former Secretary of State, senator from New York, and wife of former president Bill Clinton) in the general election, winning in a shocking upset after a campaign in which Clinton had held steady leads in most polls. He was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. His books include Trump: The Art of the Deal (1988), Trump: Surviving at the Top (1990), Trump: The Art of the Comeback (1997); Trump: How to Get Rich (2004); and Crippled America (2015).

Extra credit:

Donald Trump’s nickname is “The Donald”… Donald Trump has three children with his wife Ivana: Donald Jr. (b. 1977), Ivanka (b. 1981) and Eric (b. 1984); he has one daughter with Maples, Tiffany (b. 1993); and he has a son with Knauss, Barron, born in March of 2006… Trump is famous for his objection to handshakes; a 1999 Time Magazine article quoted him as saying “I think the handshake is barbaric… Shaking hands, you catch the flu, you catch this, you catch all sorts of things”… Another germophobic casino-owning billionaire was Howard Hughes.

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