A Brief Summary of Donald Trump
Real estate developer Donald John Trump was born in 1946, in Queens, New York. In 1971, he became involved in large, profitable building projects in Manhattan.
He opened the Grand Hyatt in 1980, which made him the city’s best-known developer.
Donald Trump began starring in the hit NBC reality series The Apprentice in 2004 which also spawned the offshoot The Celebrity Apprentice.
Trump turned his attention to politics, and in 2015 he announced his candidacy for president of the United States on the Republican ticket.
After winning a majority of the primaries and caucuses, Trump became the official Republican candidate for president on July 19, 2016.
That November, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States when he defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Early Life and Education of Donald 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.
His Father Frederick Trump was a builder and real estate developer who specialized in constructing and operating middle-income apartments in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn.
Donald was an energetic, assertive child, and his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy at age 13, hoping the discipline of the school would channel his energy in a positive manner.
Donald Trump did well at the academy, both socially and academically, rising to become a star athlete and student leader by the time he graduated in 1964.
He then entered Fordham University and two years later transferred to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics.
During his years at college, Trump secured education deferments for the Vietnam War draft and ultimately a 1-Y medical deferment after he graduated.
Donald Trump as a Real Estate Developer
Donald trump followed his father into a career in real estate development, bringing his grander ambitions to the family business.
As a student, Trump worked with his father during the summer and then joined his father’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, after graduation from college.
He was able to finance an expansion of the company’s holdings by convincing his father to be more liberal in the use of loans based on the equity in the Trump apartment complexes.
However, business was very competitive and profit margins were narrow.
In 1971, Donald Trump was given control of the company, which he later renamed the Trump Organization.
He also moved his residence to Manhattan, where he began to make important connections with influential people.
Convinced of the city’s economic opportunity, Trump soon became involved in large building projects in Manhattan that would offer opportunities for earning high profits, using attractive architectural design and winning public recognition.
When the Pennsylvania Central Railroad entered bankruptcy, Trump was able to obtain an option on the railroad’s yards on the West Side of Manhattan.
When initial plans for apartments proved unfeasible because of the poor economic climate, Donald Trump promoted the property as the location of a city convention center, and the city government selected it over two other sites in 1978.
Trump’s offer to forego a fee if the center were named after his family, however, was turned down, along with his bid to build the complex, which was ultimately named in honor Senator Jacob Javits.
Meanwhile Donald Trump had set his sights on making a big splash in commercial real estate.
In 1974, he obtained an option on one of Penn Central’s hotels, the Commodore, which was unprofitable but in an excellent location adjacent to Grand Central Station.
The next year he signed a partnership agreement with the Hyatt Hotel Corporation, which did not have a large downtown hotel.
Trump then worked out a complex deal with the city to win a 40-year tax abatement, arranged financing and then completely renovated the building, constructing a striking new facade of reflective glass designed by architect Der Scutt.
When the hotel, renamed the Grand Hyatt, opened in 1980, it was instantly popular and proved an economic success, making Donald Trump the city’s best known developer in the process.
Reality TV and Political Career
On October 7, 1999, Trump announced the formation of an exploratory committee to inform his decision whether or not to seek the Reform Party’s nomination for the presidential race of 2000.
However, after a poor showing during the California primary, Trump withdrew his candidacy.
It would not quell his political aspirations, however.in 2004 Trump took advantage of his high-profile persona when he began producing and starring in the NBC reality series The Apprentice, in which contestants competed for a management position within the Trump Organization.
The show quickly became a hit and made famous Trump’s television catchphrase “You’re fired.”
The success of the show resulted in numerous spin-offs, including The Celebrity Apprentice that showcased well-known figures as contestants.
In 2012, Trump’s flirtation with politics resumed when he publicly announced he was considering running for president again.
However, his prior association with the “Birther” movement, a fringe group that staunchly believed President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, seemingly discredited his political reputation.
Beginning in early 2011, Trump expressed doubts about the validity of Obama’s birth country to media outlets.
To quell the staunch outcry from birtherists, Obama eventually released his birth certificate in April 2011, verifying that he was born in the United States.
Regardless, Trump continued to be a vocal critic of President Obama not only regarding his place of birth—but also on a variety of his policies.
As years went by, Trump continued to question the president’s birthplace through his 2012 reelection.
Back n 2013, Trump tweeted that a Hawaiian State Health Director, who died of cardiac arrhythmia following a plane crash, was somehow connected to a cover-up of the president’s birth certificate.
In 2016, as he began to clinch his own nomination as the GOP candidate for president, Trump toned down his stance, telling CNN, “I have my own theory on Obama.
Someday I will write a book.” Later that fall, feeling pressure from his campaign advisors to put the conspiracy theory to rest as part of a strategy to appeal to minority voters, Trump issued a statement conceding that the president was indeed born in the U.S.
In his statement, Trump also blamed his presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, on the matter: “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy.
I finished it. I finished it. You know what I mean,” Trump stated. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”
On June 16, 2015, Trump made his White House ambitions official when he announced his run for president on the Republican ticket for the 2016 elections, joining a crowded field of more than a dozen major candidates.
“I am officially running for president of the United States,” Trump said during his announcement at Trump Towers in New York City, “and we are going to make our country great again.
” He added with his signature bravado: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
Upon Trump’s announcement to run for president, his scathing, derogatory remarks about Mexicans and immigration caused NBC to sever business ties with him.
“Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” NBC responded in a statement.
“To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC.”
The statement added: “In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. Celebrity Apprentice is licensed from Mark Burnett’s United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue.”
In response to NBC, Trump was unapologetic and defiant, filing a $500 million dollar lawsuit against the company, with his daughter Ivanka stating that her father’s comments were distorted by the media.
Yet among great social outcry, other organizations have withdrawn from associations with Trump as well: The Professional Golfers Association of America pulled plans for its fall Grand Slam tournament to be held at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, while representatives for Macy’s announced that the retail chain would no longer carry Trump’s menswear collection.
On July 18, 2015, Trump set off another media maelstrom with comments made at the Christian-oriented Family Leadership Summit in Iowa, calling out Senator and one-time Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s reputation as a military hero.
“He’s not a war hero.
He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said, referring to McCain having been detained during the Vietnam War for several years after being gunned down as an airman, surviving multiple broken limbs and torture.
Military veteran groups and advocates have generally denounced Trump’s statements.
Despite these and his many other controversial remarks, a national phone poll completed by late July 2015 saw Trump in the lead for the Republican nomination, with ex-governor of Florida Jeb Bush slightly behind and within the poll’s margin of error.
More than half of Republican voters polled said that they were still unsure about which candidate from the large pool of contenders they would ultimately support.
Nonetheless, having garnered major media attention, Trump was one of the ten top candidates who participated in a Fox News presidential debate in early August.
While the mogul continued a tone set in earlier appearances, he was critiqued and questioned on everything from his business practices to demeaning, sexist comments made about women via television and social media.
Trump later made highly insulting remarks about moderator Megyn Kelly for the nature of her questions, and was hence disinvited from an Atlanta speaking engagement.
He also initially maintained that he might opt for a third-party candidacy if running on the Republican ticket wasn’t viable, but later signed a loyalty pledge stating he wouldn’t do so.
As of March 2016, Trump appeared to be the likely Republican presidential nominee, with only Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich holding out hope for their campaigns.
Trump maintained a commanding lead over his opponents despite ongoing criticisms and controversies,
These including his proposal to ban the immigration of Muslims to the United States, an apparent endorsement of waterboarding, and widespread protest at his political rallies, several of which has turned violent.
Historic Presidential Election
In a stunning victory that defied polls, Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on November 8, 2016.
After one of the most contentious presidential races in U.S. history, Trump’s surprising rise to the office of president was considered a resounding rejection of establishment politics by blue-collar and working class Americans.
In his victory speech delivered at 2:30 am the following morning at the Hilton Hotel in New York City, Trump said:
“I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.”“As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign, but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their families,”
He also spoke to the Americans who did not vote for him.
“For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country.”
Trump acknowledged his opponent, who called him to concede, saying:
“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.”
He ended his victory speech with a promise to the country. “We’re going to get to work immediately for the American people,” he said. “And we’re going to be doing a job that hopefully you will be so proud of your president. You’ll be so proud. Again, it’s my honor. It was an amazing evening. It’s been an amazing two-year period. And I love this country.”
In 1977, Trump married Ivana Zelnickova Winklmayr, a New York fashion model who had been an alternate 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 had been involved for some time and already had a daughter, Tiffany (born in 1993). Trump would ultimately file for a highly publicized divorce from Maples in 1997, which became final in June 1999. A prenuptial agreement allotted $2 million to Maples.
In January 2005, Trump married for a third time in another highly publicized and lavish wedding, this time to 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.