Donald Trump: Life in brief

Donald Trump: Life in brief

Donald Trump at the age of 70 won his first bid for public office, to be elected the 45th president of the United States, in an upset victory on November 8, 2016. He is the fifth US president to take office despite losing the popular vote, having prevailed in Electoral College votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton. A real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is the first president without previous service in either elective office or the military, as well as the oldest and among the richest to take office. He holds another distinction as well: Trump took office on January 20, 2017, with the lowest public approval ratings of any president since polling began after his campaign and transition were dogged with allegations of sexual improprieties and Russian meddling in the campaign on his behalf.

Trump was born in the borough of Queens in New York City on June 14, 1946, and raised there. The fourth of five children of Fred Trump, a residential real estate developer and son of German immigrants, and Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, an immigrant from Scotland, Donald took over the family business and expanded it globally, with interests in hotels, casinos, resorts, golf courses, beauty pageants, and Trump-branded products. From the 1970s on, he assiduously promoted the family name as synonymous with business success and the high life, including in bestselling books. While Trump went through a series of bankruptcies in his casino businesses, his branding feats otherwise remained successful and culminated with his years-long run as star of NBC’s reality show The Apprentice. By the time he ran for president, licensing the Trump name was more important to his financial status than real estate development and ownership.

Married three times and divorced twice, Trump has five children, three of whom—Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, his children with his first wife, Ivana—joined his businesses. Prior to his inauguration, Trump said Donald and Eric would take over the Trump Organization while Ivanka would come to Washington, DC, with her husband, real estate magnate Jared Kushner; both became senior White House advisors. Trump married Melania Knauss, a former model from Slovenia, in 2005; the next year she became an American citizen and gave birth to their son, Barron.

Trump had dabbled in politics for decades. He contributed to candidates of both parties, registered variously as a Democrat, Republican, and independent, and flirted with running for president in 1988, 2000, 2004, and 2012. In winning the Republican nomination and presidency in 2016, he vanquished two political dynasties, Bush and Clinton, and the billionaire did so as the unlikely tribune of frustrated working-class voters. Trump said during the campaign that his wealth exceeded $10 billion. However, the accuracy of his claim could not be determined because Trump is the first president in four decades to refuse to release federal income tax returns.