|Born||Donald John Trump
June 14, 1946
Queens, New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania (B.S.)|
|Net worth||US$4.5 billion (May 2016)|
|Political party||Republican (1987–99; 2009–11; 2012–present)
Democratic (before 1987; 2001–09)
Donald Trump, Jr.
|Republican nominee for
President of the United States
November 8, 2016
|Preceded by||Mitt Romney|
|Chairman and President of
The Trump Organization [nb 1]
|Preceded by||Fred Trump|
Donald John Trump (/ /; born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, politician, television personality, author, and the nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States in the 2016 election.  Trump is the Chairman and President of The Trump Organization, as well as the founder of the gaming and hotel enterprise Trump Entertainment Resorts (now owned by Carl Icahn).
Trump's father was New York City real estate developer Fred Trump. The younger Trump had worked for his father's firm, Elizabeth Trump & Son, while attending college. After graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968, he joined the company and in 1971 was given control, later renaming it The Trump Organization. He has since built casinos, golf courses, hotels, a New York City neighborhood, and other real estate properties, many of which bear his name. Many of the properties that bear his name are branding deals, where Trump either is a minority shareholder or has no ownership. Trump and his businesses, as well as his three marriages, have received prominent media exposure. He hosted The Apprentice, a popular NBC reality show, from 2004 to 2015.
Trump first campaigned for the U.S. presidency in 2000, and withdrew before any votes were cast, but afterwards won two Reform Party primaries. On June 16, 2015, he again announced his candidacy for president, as a Republican. Trump became known for his opposition to illegal immigration, his opposition to various free-trade agreements that he regards as unfair, his frequently non-interventionist views on foreign policy, and his proposal to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering the United States until Congress can determine how to address Islamic terrorism. Trump quickly emerged as the front-runner for the Republican nomination. His controversial remarks have inspired protests both opposing and supporting him.
On May 3, 2016, after winning the Indiana primary, Trump's main rival, Ted Cruz, suspended his campaign, and Republican chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the party's presumptive presidential nominee. Trump's final Republican rival, John Kasich, suspended his campaign the next day. On May 26, 2016, the Associated Press announced that Trump had reached the required 1237 delegates needed in order to clinch the Republican nomination. 
- 1 Early life
- 2 Business career
- 3 Commercial properties and investments
- 4 Entertainment media
- 5 Politics
- 6 Personal life
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 Further legal matters
- 9 Awards and honors
- 10 Books authored
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, one of New York City's five boroughs. He was the fourth of five children of Mary Anne (née MacLeod; 1912–2000), a homemaker and philanthropist, and Fred Trump (1905–1999), a real estate developer.
His mother was born in Tong on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. She emigrated to the United States in 1930 at age 18, and then worked as a domestic servant for about four years. She met Fred Trump and they were married in 1936, settling in Jamaica Estates, Queens. Fred Trump eventually became one of the city's biggest real estate developers. Mary Anne Trump was naturalized as a U.S. citizen on March 10, 1942.
Trump's father was born in Woodhaven, Queens, to Frederick and Elizabeth (née Christ) Trump, immigrants from Kallstadt, Germany. Frederick worked as a successful Klondike Gold Rush restaurateur and possibly as a brothel keeper. In a 1976 New York Times biographical profile, and again in his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Trump incorrectly stated that his grandfather Frederick Trump was of Swedish origin, an assertion that his father Fred Trump made for many years ostensibly because "he had a lot of Jewish tenants and it wasn't a good thing to be German", according to a nephew identified as a family historian by The New York Times. Donald Trump later acknowledged his German ancestry and served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.
Trump has one brother, Robert (born 1948), and two sisters: Maryanne (born 1937) and Elizabeth (born 1942). Maryanne is a United States federal judge on senior status for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Another brother, Fred Jr. (1938–1981), died of complications from alcoholism.
The family had a two-story Tudor Revival home on Wareham Place in Jamaica Estates, where Trump lived while attending The Kew-Forest School. At Kew-Forest, Fred Trump served as a member of the Board of Trustees. Due to behavior problems, Trump left the school at age 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy (NYMA). In 1983, Fred told an interviewer that Donald "was a pretty rough fellow when he was small". Trump finished eighth grade and high school at NYMA. During his senior year, Trump participated in marching drills and wore a uniform, attaining the rank of captain. In 2015, he told a biographer that NYMA gave him "more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military".
Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years. He entered the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, as Wharton then offered one of the few real estate studies departments in U.S. academia. While there, he worked at his father's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son. Trump graduated from Wharton in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in economics.
Trump was eligible for the draft lottery during the Vietnam War. He was not drafted due to four student deferments (2-S) while attending college, as well as a medical deferment (1-Y, later converted to 4-F) obtained in 1968 after his college graduation, prior to the lottery being initiated. Trump was deemed fit for service after a military medical examination in 1966 and was briefly classified as 1-A by a local draft board shortly before his 1968 medical disqualification. Trump attributed his medical deferment to "heel spurs" in both feet according to a 2015 biography, but told reporters in 2015 that he could not immediately remember which foot (later that day he said both feet). "I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number", he told WNYW in 2011. Selective Service records retrieved by The Smoking Gun website from the National Archives confirm that Trump got a medical deferment and eventually received a high selective service lottery number in 1969.
Trump has said that when he graduated from college in 1968, he was worth about US$200,000 (equivalent to $1,021,000 in 2015). At age 23, he made an unsuccessful commercial foray into show business, investing $70,000 to become co-producer of the 1970 Broadway comedy "Paris Is Out!", which flopped. Trump began his real estate career at his father's company, Elizabeth Trump and Son, which focused on middle-class rental housing in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. During his undergraduate study, one of Trump's first projects had been the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which his father had purchased for $5.7 million in 1962. Fred and Donald Trump became involved in the project and, with a $500,000 investment, turned the 1,200-unit complex's occupancy rate from 34% to 100%. Trump oversaw the company's 14,000 apartments across Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. In 1972, The Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million.
In 1971, Trump moved to Manhattan, where he became involved in larger construction projects, and used attractive architectural design to win public recognition. Trump initially came to public attention in 1973 when he was accused by the Justice Department of violations of the Fair Housing Act in the operation of 39 buildings. After an unsuccessful countersuit filed by attorney Roy Cohn, Trump settled the charges in 1975 without admitting guilt, saying he was satisfied that the agreement did not "compel the Trump organization to accept persons on welfare as tenants unless as qualified as any other tenant." Several years later the Trump Organization was again in court for violating terms of the settlement; Trump denied the charges and there is no indication that he was found guilty.
Trump had an option to buy and made plans to develop the Penn Central Transportation Company property, which was in bankruptcy. This included the 60th Street rail yard on the Hudson River—later developed as Riverside South—as well as the land around Grand Central Terminal, for which he paid $60 million with no money down. Later, with the help of a 40-year tax abatement from the New York City government, he turned the bankrupt Commodore Hotel next to Grand Central into the Grand Hyatt and created The Trump Organization.
Trump promoted Penn Central's rail yard on 30th Street as a site for New York City's planned Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. He estimated his company could have completed the project for $110 million, but, while the city chose his site, it rejected his offer and Trump received a broker's fee on the sale of the property instead.
Repairs on the Wollman Rink in Central Park, built in 1955, were started in 1980 by a general contractor unconnected to Trump, with an expected 2 1⁄2-year construction schedule, but were not completed by 1986. Trump took over the management of the project without the city needing to pay anything, and completed it in three months for $1.95 million, which was $750,000 less than the initial budget.
In 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International. The acquisition was funded by significant bank borrowing; by 1989, Trump was unable to meet loan payments. Although he secured additional loans and postponed interest payments, increasing debt brought the Taj Mahal to bankruptcy in 1991. Banks and bondholders, facing potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars, opted to restructure the debt. The Taj Mahal emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50 percent ownership in the casino to the bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates and more time to pay off the debt. He also sold his financially challenged Trump Shuttle airline and his 282-foot megayacht, the Trump Princess. The late 1990s saw a resurgence in Trump's financial situation. The will of Trump's father, who died in 1999, divided an estate estimated at $250–300 million equally among his four surviving children.
In 2001, Trump completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters. Also, he began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. Trump continued to own commercial space in Trump International Hotel and Tower, a 44-story mixed-use (hotel and condominium) tower on Columbus Circle, and also continued to own millions of square feet of other prime Manhattan real estate.
By 2014, Trump retained 10% ownership of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, both in Atlantic City. In that year, Trump Entertainment Resorts entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed Trump Plaza indefinitely. Billionaire Carl Icahn purchased the company in 2016, acquiring Trump Taj Mahal; Icahn kept Trump's name on the building even though Trump no longer had any ownership.
According to a July 2015 press release from his campaign manager, Trump's "income" for the year 2014 was $362 million ("which does not include dividends, interest, capital gains, rents and royalties"). His disclosure filings for the year 2015 revealed that his total gross revenue was in excess of $611 million. According to Fortune magazine, the $362 million figure as stated on his FEC filings is not "income" but gross revenue before salaries, interest payments on outstanding debt, and other business-related expenses; Trump's true income was "most likely" about one-third of what Trump has publicly claimed. According to public records, Trump received a $302 New York tax rebate in 2013 (and in two other recent years) given to couples earning less than $500,000 per year, who submit as proof their federal tax returns. Trump's campaign manager has suggested that Trump's tax rebate was an error. Trump has not publicly released his federal tax returns, saying he would not do so because of ongoing IRS audits.
Trump has licensed his name and image for the development of many real estate projects. Trump-branded properties, which are not owned by Trump, including two Trump-branded real estate projects in Florida have gone into foreclosure. The Turkish owner of Trump Towers Istanbul, who pays Trump for the use of his name, was reported in December 2015 to be exploring legal means to dissociate the property after the candidate's call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Trump has also licensed his name to son-in-law Jared Kushner's fifty story Trump Bay Street, a Jersey City luxury development that has raised $50 million of its $200 million capitalization largely from wealthy Chinese nationals who, after making an initial down payment of $500,000 in concert with the government's expedited EB-5 visa program, can usually be expected to obtain U.S. permanent residency for themselves and their families after two years. A spokesperson clarified that Trump is a partner with Kushner Properties only in name licensing and not in the building's financing.
An analysis of Trump's business career by The Economist in 2016, concludes that his "...performance [from 1985 to 2016] has been mediocre compared with the stock market and property in New York," noting both his successes and bankruptcies. Any such analysis is difficult because, as the newspaper observed, "Information about Mr Trump’s business is sketchy. He doesn’t run a publicly listed firm..." Trump's early successes were partly commingled with those of his father so they omit them claiming, "The best long-term starting point is 1985, when Mr Trump first appeared in the rankings without his father". A subsequent analysis by the Washington Post concluded that "Trump is a mix of braggadocio, business failures, and real success".
Commercial properties and investments
Trump Tower, a 58-story, mixed-use skyscraper at 725 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, was developed by Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company, and was designed by architect Der Scutt of Swanke Hayden Connell. Trump Tower houses both his primary penthouse condominium residence and the headquarters of The Trump Organization. Trump Tower is also the name of buildings that The Trump Organization has built in Baku, Azerbaijan; Istanbul, Turkey, and several other places.
Trump Tower occupies the former site of the architecturally significant Bonwit Teller flagship store, demolished in 1980. There was controversy when valuable Art Deco bas-relief sculptures on its facade, which were supposed to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, were destroyed during the demolition process. In addition, the demolition of the Bonwit Teller store was criticized for a contractor's use of some 200 undocumented Polish immigrant workers, who, during the rushed demolition process, were reportedly paid 4–5 dollars per hour for work in 12-hour shifts. Trump testified in 1990 that he rarely visited the site and was unaware of the illegal workers, some of whom lived at the site and who were known as the "Polish Brigade." A judge ruled in 1991 that the builders engaged in "a conspiracy to deprive the funds of their rightful contribution", referring to the pension and welfare funds of the labor unions. However, on appeal, parts of that ruling were overturned, and the record became sealed when the long-running labor lawsuit was settled in 1999, after 16 years in court.
The building includes shops, cafés, offices, and residences. Its five-level atrium features a 60-foot-high waterfall spanned by a suspended walkway, below a skylight. Trump Tower was the setting of the NBC television show The Apprentice including a fully functional television studio set.
Trump Taj Mahal
The Trump Taj Mahal is a casino on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States. The casino was opened by then-owner Donald Trump in April 1990, and was built at a total cost of nearly one billion dollars. Financed with $675 million in junk bonds at a 14% interest rate, the project entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following year, with Trump ceding 50% equity ownership to bondholders. The property was repurchased in 1996 and consolidated into Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, which filed for bankruptcy in 2004 with $1.8 billion in debt, filing again for bankruptcy five years later with $50 million in assets and $500 million in debt. The restructuring ultimately left Trump with 10% ownership in the Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump casino properties. Trump served as chairman of the organization, which was renamed Trump Entertainment Resorts, from mid-1995 until early 2009, and served as CEO from mid-2000 to mid-2005.
Its sister property, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, closed in September 2014. In November 2014, the Trump Taj Mahal threatened to close and cease casino and hotel operations by the end of the year if the union would not drop its appeal of the casino's bankruptcy ruling, rebuffing their demand for continued health insurance and pension coverage. On December 18, 2014 the Trump Taj Mahal reached an agreement with its union and kept the casino open, but did not restore the contested benefits.
The Trump Organization operates many golf courses and resorts in the U.S. and around the world.
In 2006, Trump bought the Menie Estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, creating a highly controversial golf resort, against the wishes of local residents, on an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. A 2011 independent documentary, You've Been Trumped, by British filmmaker Anthony Baxter, chronicled the golf resort's construction and the subsequent struggles between the locals and Donald Trump. Despite Trump's promises of 6,000 jobs, a decade later, by his own admission, the golf course has created only 200 jobs.
In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota. In June 2015, Trump's appeal objecting to an offshore windfarm (Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm) within sight of the golf links was denied. In December 2015, Trump's attempt to prevent the windfarm being built within sight of his golf course was dismissed by five justices at the UK Supreme Court in the case of Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd v The Scottish Ministers.
Branding and licensing
Trump has marketed his name on a large number of building projects as well as commercial products and services, achieving mixed success doing so for himself, his partners, and investors in the projects. His external entrepreneurial and investment ventures include Trump Financial (a mortgage firm), Trump Sales and Leasing (residential sales), Trump International Realty (a residential and commercial real estate brokerage firm), The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative (a for profit business education company, formerly called the Trump University), Trump Restaurants (located in Trump Tower and consisting of Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar), GoTrump (an online travel search engine), Select By Trump (a line of coffee drinks), Trump Drinks (an energy drink for the Israeli and Palestinian markets) Donald J. Trump Signature Collection (a line of menswear, men's accessories, and watches), Donald Trump The Fragrance (2004), SUCCESS by Donald Trump (a second fragrance launched by The Trump Organization and the Five Star Fragrance Company released in March 2012), Trump Ice bottled water, the former Trump Magazine, Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump Home (home furnishings), Trump Productions (a television production company), Trump Institute, Trump: The Game (1989 board game with a 2005 re-release version tied to The Apprentice), Donald Trump's Real Estate Tycoon (a business simulation game), Trump Books, Trump Model Management, Trump Shuttle, Trump Mortgage, Trump Network (a multi-level vitamin, cosmetic, and urinalysis marketing company), Trump Vodka, Trump Steakhouse and Trump Steaks. In addition, Trump reportedly received $1.5 million for each one-hour presentation he did for The Learning Annex. Trump also endorsed ACN Inc., a multi-level marketing telecommunications company. He has spoken at ACN International Training Events at which he praised the company's founders, business model and video phone. He earned a total $1.35 million for three speeches given for the company, amounting to $450,000 per speech.
In 2011, Forbes' financial experts estimated the value of the Trump brand at $200 million. Trump disputes this valuation, saying that his brand is worth about $3 billion. Many developers pay Trump to market their properties and to be the public face for their projects. For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name. According to Forbes, this portion of Trump's empire, actually run by his children, is by far his most valuable, having a $562 million valuation. According to Forbes, there are 33 licensing projects under development including seven "condo hotels" (the seven Trump International Hotel and Tower developments). In June 2015, Forbes pegged the Trump brand at USD$125 million as retailers like Macy's Inc. and Serta Mattresses began dropping Trump branded products, with Macy's saying they are "disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico."
Trump is one of the richest politicians in American history, though his net worth is difficult to estimate. He says that his net worth is over ten billion dollars, whereas in 2015 Forbes put his net worth at 4.5 billion, and Bloomberg put it at 2.9 billion, with the discrepancies due in part to the uncertainty of appraised property values.
Trump was listed on the initial Forbes List of wealthy individuals in 1982 as having an estimated $200 million fortune, including a share of his father's estimated $200 million net worth. After several years on the list, Trump's financial indiscipline in the 1980s caused him to be dropped from 1990 to 1995, and reportedly obliged him to borrow from his siblings' trusts in 1993; in 2005, The New York Times referred to Trump's "verbal billions" in a skeptical article about Trump's self-reported wealth. At the time, three individuals with direct knowledge of Trump's finances told reporter Timothy L. O'Brien that Trump's actual net worth was between $150 and $250 million, though Trump then publicly claimed a net worth of $5 to $6 billion. Claiming libel, Trump sued the reporter (and his book publisher) for $5 billion, lost the case, and then lost again on appeal; Trump refused to turn over his unredacted tax returns despite his assertion they supported his case. In a sworn deposition, Trump testified that he once borrowed $9.6 million from his father, calling it "a very small amount of money," but could not recall when he did so; Trump has since told campaign audiences he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father, which he paid back with interest: "it has not been easy for me," Trump told one New Hampshire crowd.
In April 2011, amidst speculation whether Trump would run as a candidate in the U.S. presidential election of 2012, Politico quoted unnamed sources close to him stating that, if Trump should decide to run for president, he would file "financial disclosure statements that [would] show his net worth [was] in excess of $7 billion with more than $250 million of cash, and very little debt." Although Trump did not run as a candidate in the 2012 elections, his "professionally prepared" 2012 financial disclosure was published in his book which claimed a $7 billion net worth.
Estimates of Trump's net worth have fluctuated along with real estate valuations: in 2015, Forbes pegged it as $4 billion, while the Bloomberg Billionaires Index (which scrutinized Trump's FEC filings) estimated a net worth of $2.9 billion. On June 16, 2015, just prior to announcing his candidacy for president of the United States, Trump released to the media a one-page prepared financial disclosure statement "from a big accounting firm—one of the most respected" stating a net worth of $8,737,540,000. "I'm really rich," Trump said. Forbes called the nearly $9 billion figure a "100%" exaggeration. In June 2015, Business Insider published Trump's June 2014 financial statement, noting that $3.3 billion of that total is represented by "Real Estate Licensing Deals, Brand and Branded Developments," described by Business Insider as "basically [implying] that Trump values his character at $3.3 billion." In July 2015, Federal election regulators released new details of Trump's self-reported wealth and financial holdings when he became a Republican presidential candidate, reporting that his assets are worth above $1.4 billion, which includes at least $70 million in stocks, and a debt of at least $265 million. Mortgages on Trump's major properties—including Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, and the Trump National Doral golf course—each fall into the "above $50 million" range, the highest reportable category on FEC filings, with Trump paying interest rates ranging from 4% to 7.125%. (Mortgages on those three properties were separately reported as $100 million, $160 million, and $125 million in 2013.) Other outstanding Trump mortgages and debts are pegged to current market interest rates. A 2012 report from Trump's accounting firm estimated $451.7 million in debt and other collateral obligations. Filings in 2015 revealed debt of $504 million, according to Fortune magazine.
A July 2015 campaign press release, issued one month after Trump announced his presidential run, said that the FEC filing "was not designed for a man of Mr. Trump's massive wealth" and that his "net worth is in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS" (emphasis in original document). However, Trump has testified that "my net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings—even my own feelings." On the same day, Trump's own stated estimates of his net worth have varied by as much as $3.3 billion. Trump has also acknowledged that past exaggerated estimates of his wealth have been "good for financing." Forbes has said that although Trump "shares a lot of information with us that helps us get to the figures we publish," he "consistently pushes for a higher net worth—especially when it comes to the value of his personal brand." Forbes reduced its estimate of Trump's net worth by $125 million following Trump's controversial 2015 remarks about Mexican illegal immigrants, which ended Trump's business contracts with NBCUniversal, Univision, Macy's, Serta, PVH Corporation, and Perfumania. An internal Young & Rubicam study of Trump's brand favorability among high-income consumers showed "plummeting" ratings at the end of 2015, suggesting Trump's various businesses could face market and financing challenges in the future.
Trump has released financial information, but has not released his tax returns, saying that he will do so before the 2016 election if an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is completed covering tax returns for the years 2009 thru 2016. Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is among those who have questioned Trump's purported wealth and his unwillingness to release his tax returns, suggesting Trump might be wary of revealing a potential electoral "bombshell". Trump responded by disclosing the existence of the ongoing audit. Trump later said that the government has audited him too many times, and he speculated about possible reasons for auditing him again now, saying that perhaps it was because he is a "strong Christian", though he added "I don't think it applies". Trump says he will not yet release records for audited years that he had "passed" because such records "mesh" and "interrelate" with current disputed IRS filings. Tax attorneys are generally sympathetic to wanting tax returns kept private until an audit is completed. High income individuals are audited more frequently than the average taxpayer, but it is unusual for an individual to be audited for several consecutive years. When asked by journalist George Stephanopoulos if he would reveal his tax rate, Trump replied: "It's none of your business, you'll see it when I release. But I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible".
According to a July 2015 press release by Trump's campaign, a portion of Trump's fortune is held in assets outside his holdings in The Trump Organization, most of which are concentrated in the financial market. In 2011, Trump made a rare foray into the stock market after being disappointed with the depressed American real estate market and facing poor returns on bank deposits. He stated that he was not a stock market person, but he also stated that prime real estate at good prices is hard to get. Among the stocks Trump purchased, he stated he bought stock in Bank of America, Citigroup, Caterpillar Inc., Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. In December 2012, Trump revealed that he also added shares of Facebook to his stock portfolio. Trump also has US$9 million invested in hedge funds. He earned US$6.7 million from selling shares in Bank of America and an additional US$3.9 million from selling Facebook in 2014.
In 1983, Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals for the inaugural season of the United States Football League (USFL). The Generals hired former New York Jets head coach Walt Michaels. Before the inaugural season began, Trump sold the franchise to Oklahoma oil magnate J. Walter Duncan. Then, prior to the 1984 season, Duncan sold the team back to Trump.
The USFL played its first 1983, 1984, and 1985 seasons during the summer. Trump convinced the majority of the owners of other USFL teams to move the USFL 1986 schedule to the fall, directly opposite the National Football League (NFL), arguing that it would eventually force a merger with the NFL; owners of any USFL teams included in a merger would see their investment increase significantly.
The Generals merged with the Houston Gamblers during the extended offseason prior to the fall of 1986, adding such stars as quarterback Jim Kelly and wide receiver Ricky Sanders. Michaels was fired, replaced with former Gamblers coach Jack Pardee, who planned to bring the Gamblers' high-powered run and shoot offense with him. However, the USFL's "Dream Team" never took the field. The 1986 season was cancelled after the USFL won a minimal verdict (of less than four dollars) in an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL; the USFL folded soon afterward.
From 1996 until 2015, when he sold his interests to WME/IMG, Trump owned part or all of the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants. Among the most recognized beauty pageants in the world, the Miss Universe pageant was founded in 1952 by the California clothing company Pacific Mills.
In 2015, NBC and Univision both ended their business relationships with the Miss Universe Organization after Trump's presidential campaign kickoff speech on June 16, in which he stated:
The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems. [Applause] Thank you. It's true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
Trump subsequently filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, alleging a breach of contract and defamation. Cable network Reelz then acquired the rights to exclusively telecast the Miss USA pageant. Trump told People magazine in July 2015 that the lawsuit against Univision was "part of the [presidential] campaign." On September 11, 2015, Trump announced that he purchased NBC's stake in the Miss Universe Organization, making him the sole owner, and had "settled" his lawsuits against the network, though it was not immediately clear whether Trump had filed lawsuits against NBC or merely threatened to do so. He sold his own interests in the pageant shortly afterwards.
Use of bankruptcy laws
Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, but hotel and casino businesses of his have been declared bankrupt four times between 1991 and 2009 to re-negotiate debt with banks and owners of stock and bonds. Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded. Trump was quoted by Newsweek in 2011 saying, "I do play with the bankruptcy laws — they’re very good for me" as a tool for trimming debt.
According to a report by Forbes in 2011, the four bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City: Trump's Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009). Trump said "I've used the laws of this country to pare debt. … We'll have the company. We'll throw it into a chapter. We'll negotiate with the banks. We'll make a fantastic deal. You know, it's like on The Apprentice. It's not personal. It's just business." He indicated that other "great entrepreneurs" do the same.
In 1991, Trump Taj Mahal was unable to service its debt and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Forbes indicated that this first bankruptcy was the only one where Trump's personal financial resources were involved. Time, however, maintains that $72 million of his personal money was also involved in a later 2004 bankruptcy.
On November 2, 1992, the Trump Plaza Hotel filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Trump lost his 49 percent stake in the luxury hotel to Citibank and five other lenders. In return Trump received more favorable terms on the remaining $550+ million owed to the lenders, and retain his position as chief executive, though he would not be paid and would not have a role in day-to-day operations.
By 1994, Trump had eliminated a large portion of his $900 million personal debt through sales of his Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza assets, and significantly reduced his nearly $3.5 billion in business debt. Although he lost the Trump Princess yacht and the Trump Shuttle (which he had bought in 1989), he did retain Trump Tower in New York City and control of three casinos in Atlantic City, including Trump's Castle. Trump sold his ownership of West Side Yards (now Riverside South, Manhattan) to Chinese developers including Hong Kong's New World Development, receiving a premium price in exchange for the use and display of the name "Trump" on the buildings.
Donald Trump's third corporate bankruptcy was on October 21, 2004, involving Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, the publicly-traded holding company for his three Atlantic City casinos and some others. Trump lost over half of his 56% ownership and gave bondholders stock in exchange for surrendering part of the debt. No longer CEO, Trump retained a role as chairman of the board. In May 2005 the company emerged from bankruptcy as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings. In his 2007 book, Think BIG and Kick Ass in Business and Life, Trump wrote: "I figured it was the bank's problem, not mine. What the hell did I care? I actually told one bank, 'I told you you shouldn't have loaned me that money. I told you the goddamn deal was no good.'"
Trump's fourth corporate bankruptcy occurred in 2009, when Trump and his daughter Ivanka resigned from the board of Trump Entertainment Resorts; four days later the company, which owed investors $1.74 billion against its $2.06 billion of assets, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At that time, Trump Entertainment Resorts had three properties in Atlantic City: Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (closed in 2014), and Trump Marina (formerly Trump's Castle, sold in 2011). Trump and some investors bought the company back that same year for $225 million. As part of the agreement, Trump withdrew a $100 million lawsuit he had filed against the casino's owners alleging damage to the Trump brand. Trump re-negotiated the debt, reducing by over $1 billion the repayments required to bondholders.
In 2014, Trump sued his former company to remove his name from the buildings since he no longer ran the company, having no more than a 10% stake; he lost the suit. Trump Entertainment Resorts filed again for bankruptcy in 2014 and was purchased by billionaire philanthropist Carl Icahn in 2016, who acquired Trump Taj Mahal in the deal.
Trump has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award and has made appearances as a caricatured version of himself in television series and films such as Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Nanny, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Days of Our Lives, Sex and the City, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. He has also played an oil tycoon in The Little Rascals. Trump is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and receives an annual pension of more than $110,000 every year.
In 2003, Trump became the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show The Apprentice, in which a group of competitors battled for a high-level management job in one of Trump's commercial enterprises. Contestants were successively "fired" and eliminated from the game. In 2004, Trump filed a trademark application for the catchphrase "You're fired."
For the first year of the show, Trump earned $50,000 per episode (roughly $700,000 for the first season), but following the show's initial success, he was paid $1 million per episode. In a July 2015 press release, Trump's campaign manager claimed that NBCUniversal had paid him $213,606,575 for his 14 seasons hosting the show, although the network did not verify the claim. In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to television (The Apprentice).
Along with British TV producer Mark Burnett, Trump was hired as host of The Celebrity Apprentice, in which well-known stars compete to win money for their charities. While Trump and Burnett co-produced the show, Trump stayed in the forefront, deciding winners and "firing" losers.
On February 16, 2015, NBC announced that they would be renewing The Apprentice for a 15th season. Eleven days later, Trump stated that he was "not ready" to sign on for another season because of the possibility of a presidential run. Despite this, on March 18, NBC announced they were going ahead with production. On June 29, after widespread negative reaction stemming from Trump's campaign announcement speech, NBC released a statement saying, "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump," apparently ending Trump's role in The Apprentice.
World Wrestling Entertainment
Trump has been publicly shown to be a World Wrestling Entertainment fan and is a friend of WWE owner Vince McMahon. He has hosted two WrestleMania events in the Trump Plaza and has been an active participant in several of the shows. Trump's Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City was host to the 1991 WBF Championship (which was owned by WWE, known at the time as the "World Wrestling Federation"). He also appeared in WrestleMania VII. Trump was interviewed by Jesse Ventura ringside at WrestleMania XX.
He appeared at WrestleMania 23 in a match called "The Battle of the Billionaires." Trump was in the corner of Bobby Lashley, while Vince McMahon was in the corner of Lashley's opponent Umaga with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee. The stipulation of the match was hair versus hair, which meant that either Trump or McMahon would have their head shaved if their competitor lost. Lashley won the match, and he and Trump shaved McMahon bald.
On June 15, 2009, as part of a storyline, McMahon announced on Monday Night Raw that he had "sold" the show to Trump. Appearing on screen, Trump declared he would be at the following commercial-free episode in person and would give a full refund to the people who purchased tickets to the arena for that night's show. McMahon "bought back" Raw the following week for twice the price.
Trump was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, at Madison Square Garden for his contributions to the promotion. He made his sixth WrestleMania appearance the next night.
Trump Model Management
In 1999, Donald Trump founded a modeling company, Trump Model Management, which operates in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Together with another Trump company, Trump Management Group LLC, Trump Model Management has brought nearly 250 foreign fashion models to the US to work in the fashion industry since 2000. The company has a reputation for premier models. In 2014, president of Trump Model Management Corrine Nicolas, other managers, and the company were sued by one of the agency's former models, Alexia Palmer, alleging racketeering, breach of contract, mail fraud, and violating immigrant wage laws. The case was dismissed from federal court in March 2016.
Trump has described his political leanings and positions in various ways over time. Politico has described his positions as "eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory". He has listed his party affiliation as Republican, Independence Party, Democrat, and "decline to state". He has also run as a Reform Party candidate. Specifically, he has changed his positions on taxing the wealthy, abortion rights and health care.
A 2011 report by the Center for Responsive Politics showed that over the previous two decades of U.S. elections, Donald Trump made contributions to campaigns of both Republican Party and Democratic Party candidates, with the top ten recipients of his political contributions being six Democrats and four Republicans. After 2011, his campaign contributions were more favorable to Republicans than to Democrats.
Trump was an early supporter of Republican Ronald Reagan for U.S. president, and in February 2012 endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president. When asked in 2015 which recent president was best, Trump picked Democrat Bill Clinton over Republicans George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. The Clintons' foundation has received between $100,000 and $250,000 from Trump, and they attended Trump's 2005 wedding reception. Trump wrote in 2008 that Hillary Clinton would be a "great president or vice-president".
Trump's party affiliation has changed over the years. It is unknown if he was registered to vote, or in which party he was registered until 1987. In 1987 he registered to vote as a Republican until 1999. He then switched to the Reform Party from 1999 to 2001. After a presidential exploratory campaign with the Reform Party, he wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times stating that he was leaving the Reform Party because of the involvement of David Duke, Pat Buchanan and Lenora Fulani with the party, stating that they were "not company [he wished] to keep." From 2001 to 2009 he was a Democrat; he switched back to the Republican Party from 2009 to 2011. He was an Independent from December 2011 to April 2012, before returning to the Republican Party, where he has remained.
Presidential leanings, 1988–2012
Trump floated the idea of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for Governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter those races. He was considered as a potential running mate for George H. W. Bush on the Republican Party's 1988 presidential ticket but lost out to future Vice President Dan Quayle. There is dispute over whether Trump or the Bush camp made the initial pitch. In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000. A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee Al Gore showed Trump with seven percent support. Though he dropped out of the race due to party infighting, Trump still won the party's California and Michigan primaries after dropping out.
As Trump publicly speculated about seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March 2011 found Trump leading among potential contenders, one point ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. A Newsweek poll conducted in February 2011 showed Trump within a few points of Barack Obama, with many voters undecided in the November 2012 general election for president of the United States. A poll released in April 2011 by Public Policy Polling showed Trump having a nine-point lead in a potential contest for the Republican nomination for president while he was still actively considering a run. His moves were interpreted by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice. On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president. Public Policy Polling described the events of May 2011 as "one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of presidential politics."
Between presidential announcements, 2011–15
In April 2011, Trump questioned President Barack Obama's proof of citizenship, alleging that "his grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya, and she was there and witnessed the birth." (Trump's claim derived from a discredited transcript of a telephone interview with Obama's grandmother, produced by a Pennsylvania pastor opposed to Obama's election.) Trump also questioned whether Obama had good enough grades to warrant entry to Harvard Law School. Trump is said to have sent a team of private investigators to Hawaii, Obama's documented birthplace, and told The Today Show "they cannot believe what they're finding." On April 25, 2011, Trump called for Obama to end the citizenship issue by releasing the long form of his birth certificate. Two days later, Obama made a formal statement in efforts by the White House to put the matter to rest with the release of the long form. Trump expressed pride at his role in the certificate's release in a press conference follow-up, saying he hoped it "checks out" and "we have to see, is it real?" When asked in July 2015 whether Obama was born in the U.S., Trump said: "I really don't know. I mean, I don't know why he wouldn't release his records."
In December 2008, Trump emerged as an early supporter of the 2009 government-backed rescue plan for the U.S. auto industry, which by 2012 was supported by 56% of Americans (63% support in Michigan), according to a Pew Research Center poll. Statements of Trump's hinting that vaccination could cause autism and should be administered between longer intervals were subject to criticism in various media by the scientific community. He also made statements denying climate change that were discordant with the opinion of the scientific community.
In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The speech was not well attended. He spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States. In October 2013, New York Republicans had circulated a memo suggesting Trump should run for governor of the state in 2014, against Andrew Cuomo. Trump said that while New York had problems and taxes were too high, running for governor was not of great interest to him. In February 2015, Trump opted not to renew his television contract for The Apprentice, generating speculation that he might run for president in 2016.
Presidential campaign, 2016
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in New York City. Trump drew attention to domestic issues such as illegal immigration, offshoring of American jobs, the U.S. national debt, and Islamic terrorism, in a campaign strongly emphasized by the slogan "Make America Great Again."
Trump runs as a self-described conservative, particularly as it relates to fiscal and religious matters. Some political analysts infer Trump to be a "moderate" as regards social issues such as LGBT rights, and abortion. He campaigns on a platform that puts great emphasis on American patriotism, with a significant disdain for political correctness. He is running counter to the Republican establishment, which widely opposes his candidacy, doubting his chances of winning the general election and fearing he could cause significant change to the image of the Republican Party. However, Trump's candidacy has largely succeeded, partly because of widespread media coverage, his ability to self-finance his campaign and not be reliant on super PACs, frequent endorsements, and the idea that he and his supporters call "telling it like it is."
Trump has generally employed strong rhetoric. He has strongly supported Christian groups in the U.S., claiming that he will reverse unfavorable tax treatments preventing them from expressing themselves in the political arena and promising to revive a more widespread use of the phrase "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays" in department stores. Other issues he highlights include taking care of military veterans, making the military "strong", aggressive bombing of the Mideast terrorist group ISIS, surveillance of certain mosques in the U.S., and getting trade agreements more favorable to American workers.
Trump entered a large field of candidates consisting of 16 other Republican candidates campaigning for the nomination, the largest presidential field in American history. By early 2016, the race had mostly centered on Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
Trump's persona came under fire, with political contenders describing him as "divisive", "unserious", and a "bully", denouncing the frequent personal attacks he makes on journalists, politicians, and competing candidates.
On Super Tuesday, Trump won the majority of the delegates and remained the front-runner throughout the primaries. By March 2016, Trump reached over 50% in national support from Republican primary voters and became poised to win the Republican nomination. After a landslide win in Indiana on May 3, 2016, which prompted the remaining candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich to suspend their presidential campaigns, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared Trump the presumptive nominee.
After becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump's focus shifted to the general election, urging remaining primary voters to "save their vote for the general election." Trump continued to campaign across the country and began targeting Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who was set to become the Democratic nominee.
Comments about fringe theories
According to political writer Steve Benen, unlike past political leaders, Trump has not kept fringe theories and their supporters at arm's length. Political writer Jack Shafer says that Trump may be a "fairly conventional American populist when it comes to his policy views", but he has a revolutionary ability to attract free media attention, sometimes by making outrageous comments.
Although Trump has refused to discuss his past comments on Obama's proof of citizenship during the campaign, he has not shied away from other topics that attract fringe theorists. Among others, Trump has alluded to the theory that President Obama is secretly a Muslim, the unfounded notion that vaccine doses cause autism if administered too quickly in succession, and the conspiracy theory that former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might not have died of natural causes but was murdered.
Trump has described his political positions in various and often contradictory ways over time. Politifact writes that it is difficult to determine Trump's stance on issues, given his frequent changes in position and "his penchant for using confusing, vague and even contradictory language." Politico has described his positions as "eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory."
Trump's politics have variously been described by opinion writers as right-wing populist (per Jonah Goldberg), nativist (per Fred Hiatt), protectionist (per Lawrence Kudlow), authoritarian (per Ron Paul & others), and moderate Republican (per Josh Barro). His views on immigration, free trade agreements, and military interventionism, as well as his support for social security, have often put him in conflict with Republican Party establishment positions.
On social issues, Trump describes himself as pro-life and would ban late-term abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or health. During a televised town hall event, Trump said "there has to be some sort of punishment" for the woman having an abortion, in a hypothetical situation in which abortion were outlawed. He later retracted the statement in response to outcry from his rivals and pro-life groups. He is in favor of cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Trump supports the Second Amendment, is opposed to gun control in general, and has a New York concealed carry permit. He supports fixing the federal background check system so that criminal and mental health records are always put into the system. Trump opposes legalizing recreational marijuana but supports legalizing medical marijuana, while being supportive of states' rights. Regarding the June 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, he said: "I would have preferred states, you know, making the decision and I let that be known. But they made the decision. [...] So, at a certain point you have to be realistic about it." Trump has stated that he supports "traditional marriage."
Regarding healthcare and education, Trump favors replacing the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as "Obamacare") with a free-market plan and competition to lower costs, although he has also stated support for a single-payer system in the past. Trump favors getting rid of backlogs and waitlists which are the focus of the Veterans Health Administration scandal. In a statement, he said he believes that Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded with recent technology, hire more veterans to treat other veterans, increase support of female veterans, and create satellite clinics within hospitals in rural areas. Trump has stated his support for school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools. He opposes the Common Core State Standards Initiative for primary and secondary schools, and has called Common Core "a disaster" that must be ended.
On trade, Trump identifies as a "free trader", but says that trade must be "reasonably fair". His campaign's tax plan calls for reducing the corporate tax rate to 15% concurrent with the elimination of various loopholes and deductions. During the Republican Party Primary, Trump said that the minimum wage should not be raised because increasing it would hurt America's economic competitiveness. However, since becoming the presumptive nominee for President he has stated that he is open to raising the minimum wage, saying: "I haven't decided in terms of numbers. But I think people have to get more."
Trump has demonstrated his support of capital punishment both through his campaign speeches about killings of police officers, and through full-page ads he purchased favoring capital punishment in New York during the 1989 Central Park jogger case.
On foreign policy, Trump has been described as non-interventionalist and nationalist. He supports increasing U.S. military defense spending, but favors decreasing U.S. spending on NATO. Trump has at various times said he favored sending U.S. troops as well as opposed sending U.S. troops to defeat the Islamic State, and he supports expanded use of aggressive interrogation techniques. In a 2002 interview, Trump said he favored invading Iraq, although he said that is must be done "correctly". Later in 2013, he repeatedly referred to the war as a "mess" and in December 2013 also said that "People are questioning invading Iraq in the first place". On February 18, 2016, he said that by the time the invasion occurred, he had become an opponent. In 2008, Trump said that George W. Bush should have been impeached for the war. Regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Trump has stated the importance of being a neutral party during potential negotiations, while also having stated that he is "a big fan of Israel." He supports Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. He endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2013. Trump has been critical of Pakistan, comparing it to North Korea, describing it as "probably the most dangerous country" in the world, and saying that Pakistan's nuclear weapons posed a "serious problem." He has advocated improving relations with India as a "check" to Pakistan.
Controversial immigration policies
On immigration, Trump has emphasized U.S. border security. During his first town hall campaign meeting in Derry, New Hampshire Trump said that if he won the election, "Day 1 of my presidency, illegal immigrants are getting out and getting out fast." Trump opposes birthright citizenship, arguing that it is not or should not be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. On people already illegally in the United States, Trump has variously said they should all be deported, that all should be deported but some could return, that only some should be deported, or that the decision should be made after the border has been strengthened.
Many of Trump's proposed policies appeal to working-class voters, but experts on immigration question whether his proposal to build a substantial wall at the Mexico–United States border would be effective and affordable, and analysts expect that Trump's mass-deportation plan would encounter legal and logistical difficulties. One of Trump's most controversial proposals is a temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States in response to the threat of Islamic terrorism "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on". Pollsters have found that support for the proposal depends upon whether the pollsters say that the ban would only last "until the federal government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists from coming here". This proposal by Trump came in response to a wave of radical Islamic terrorist attacks. Trump said that Belgium and France had been blighted by the failure of Muslims in these countries to integrate, and that living in Brussels was like living in a "hellhole" because of its dire state in Muslim assimilation. Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan argued the proposal violated the party's conservative values and the Constitution, while other Republican leaders said it was contrary to American values. Other critics pointed out that the proposal would result in the exclusion of many important U.S. allies such as Jordan's King Abdullah, although Trump later clarified exceptions would be made.
Trump has had three marriages, the first two ending in divorce, which have been publicized in the tabloid media. His personal life has also gained extensive coverage in the mainstream media.
Trump married his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelníčková, at age 30 on April 7, 1977 at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. They had three children: son Donald, Jr. (born December 31, 1977), daughter Ivanka (born October 30, 1981), and son Eric (born January 6, 1984). All three now serve as executive vice presidents of The Trump Organization.
Ivana became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988, with Trump at her side. Trump is popularly known as "The Donald", a nickname perpetuated by the media after Ivana referred to him as such in a 1989 Spy magazine cover story. By early 1990, Trump's troubled marriage to Ivana and long-running affair with actress Marla Maples had become fodder for the tabloid press. The couple divorced in 1991; then in October of that year his mother was mugged, and in November he helped a stranger who was being mugged. In 1992, he sued Ivana for not honoring a gag clause in their divorce agreement by disclosing facts about him in her best-selling book, and Trump won a gag order. In 2015, Ivana said that she and Donald "are the best of friends".
Maples gave birth to their daughter Tiffany on October 13, 1993. They married two months later on December 20, 1993. The couple formally separated in May 1997, with their divorce finalized in June 1999.
In 1998, Trump began a relationship with Slovenian-born fashion model Melania Knauss. They became engaged in April 2004 and were married on January 22, 2005 at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, on the island of Palm Beach, Florida, followed by a reception at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. In 2006, Melania became a naturalized U.S. citizen. In March 2006, she gave birth to their son whom they named Barron William Trump. (Trump had previously used the pseudonym "John Baron" or "Barron" in some business deals and for other purposes.) Having spoken the language since his childhood, Barron is fluent in Slovenian. In a February 2009 interview on ABC's news program Nightline, Trump commented that his love for his business had made it difficult for his first two wives to compete with his affection for work.
In 1999, after Fred Trump's death, Donald Trump and his siblings were sued by their dead brother Fred Jr.'s children because they were excluded from Fred Trump's will, which Donald helped draft. The lawsuit claimed that Donald and his siblings exercised "undue influence" over Fred. Donald then discontinued medical benefits, that were being provided through the Trump Organization, for Fred Jr.'s son's sick infant. The lawsuit was later settled.
Trump is a Presbyterian. Trump said he began going to church at the First Presbyterian Church in the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens, when he was younger.[clarification needed] Trump attended Sunday school and had his confirmation at that church.
In an April 2011 interview on the 700 Club, he commented: "I'm a Protestant, I'm a Presbyterian. And you know I've had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion." Trump told a 2015 South Carolina campaign audience he attends Marble Collegiate Church, where he married his first wife Ivana in 1977. Marble has said that, though Trump has a longstanding history with the church, he is a Presbyterian and not an active member of Marble. Trump has said that although he participates in Holy Communion, he has not asked God for forgiveness for his sins. He stated, "I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture."
In 1983, the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, described in a New York Times profile as Trump's "pastor" and "family minister", said that Trump was "kindly and courteous in certain business negotiations and has a profound streak of honest humility." Trump calls his own book The Art of the Deal (1987) "my second favorite book of all time," and has told campaign audiences: "Do you know what my first is? The Bible! Nothing beats the Bible." Declining to name his favorite Bible verse, Trump said "I don't like giving that out to people that you hardly know."
Trump maintains relationships with several prominent national evangelical and Christian leaders, including Tony Perkins and Ralph Reed. During his 2016 presidential campaign, he received a blessing from Greek Orthodox priest Emmanuel Lemelson.
In February 2016, Pope Francis was reported to have suggested that Donald Trump was "not Christian" because of his advocacy for a border wall to keep out undocumented immigrants. "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not about building bridges, is not a true Christian. This is not in the Gospel," the Pope replied to a reporter's questions about Trump, adding "we must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt." Trump called the Pope's criticism "disgraceful" in a Facebook post, suggesting that the Mexican government was "using the Pope as a pawn" for political purposes "because they want to continue to rip off the United States." Trump said that "if and when" the Islamic State (ISIL) attacks the Vatican, the Pope would have "wished and prayed" Trump were President because under Trump's leadership, such an attack would not happen. Shortly thereafter, Director of the Holy See Press Office Federico Lombardi insisted that the Pope was "in no way" launching an attack on Donald Trump nor was he trying to sway voters by declaring someone who advocates building walls isn't Christian. The spokesman clarified that "the Pope has made it clear that he would not enter into the [presidential] election campaign in the United States." After the clarification by Lombardi, Trump retracted his criticism of the Pope: "I don't think this is a fight," said Trump. "I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media."
Trump has ties to the Jewish-American community. At an Algemeiner Journal awards ceremony honoring him with the Algemeiner Liberty Award, he was asked about having Jewish grandchildren. In reference to daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism before her marriage to Jared Kushner, Trump said: "Not only do I have Jewish grandchildren, I have a Jewish daughter; and I am very honored by that ... it wasn't in the plan but I am very glad it happened."
Other personal information
Trump has never done drugs, or smoked cigarettes, and has always heeded a warning from his older brother (an alcoholic) to not drink alcohol. He also has germaphobic tendencies, and therefore prefers not to shake hands.
On The Howard Stern Show in 1997, Trump discussed with Stern the risk of getting diseases from dating, and agreed with Stern's characterization of dating as Trump's "personal Vietnam". Trump said he felt "like a great and very brave soldier", but added, "This is better than Vietnam".
Trump has hinted about "experiences" with married women. He was rumored to have dated models such as Carla Bruni in the early 1990s and Kara Young in the mid to late 1990s—although Bruni denied the rumors, stating that she had met Trump only once at a charity event. He allegedly "bombarded" Princess Diana with expensive floral arrangements after her 1996 divorce from Prince Charles, and has said that he would have liked to have courted that "genuine princess". He sometimes gave the impression that Diana and/or Charles had an interest in his properties, which they apparently did not.
In popular culture
Trump and members of his family have been parodied on Saturday Night Live since 1988, and he has hosted the show twice, in April 2004 and November 2015. The 2015 episode had the highest ratings of a Saturday Night Live episode since December 21, 2013.
In 1991, Libby Handros made a documentary entitled Trump: What's the Deal?, about Trump in the 1980s and 1990s.
In March 2011, Trump was the subject of a Comedy Central Roast. The special was hosted by Seth MacFarlane, and roasters included Larry King, Snoop Dogg, and Anthony Jeselnik among regular roast participants. Trump's daughter Ivanka was seen in the audience.
You've Been Trumped, a 2011 documentary film by Anthony Baxter, follows the development of a Scottish golf resort. When it was announced that the documentary was to be given its UK television première on BBC Two on October 21, 2012, Trump's lawyers contacted the BBC to demand that the film should not be shown, claiming it was defamatory and misleading. The screening went ahead, with the BBC defending the decision and stating that Trump had refused the opportunity to take part in the film.
In 2013, Trump sued comedian Bill Maher for $5 million. Maher had offered to pay $5 million to a charity if Trump would produced his birth certificate. Maher made that offer in response to Trump's request that President Barack Obama release similar information. Trump later withdrew that lawsuit against Maher.
Further legal matters
Over the course of his career, Trump has been involved in a number of lawsuits beyond those already mentioned, including over 150 lawsuits in US federal courts and over 150 lawsuits in Broward County Court (in Florida) since 1983. Some of the lawsuits have been initiated by Trump as plaintiff, and others have been initiated by others against him as defendant. Of Trump's involvement in so many lawsuits, his lawyer Alan Garten said in 2015 that this was "a natural part of doing business in [the United States]."
Trump as plaintiff or defendant
In the 1980s, Trump was sued for allegedly trying to force out tenants to enable demolition, but the matter was settled and the demolition cancelled. In 1988, Trump paid $750,000 to settle the civil penalties in an antitrust lawsuit stemming from stock purchases.
In the 1990s, a business analyst predicted that the Taj Mahal would soon fail, and he then lost his job; the analyst sued Trump for allegedly having an unlawful role in the firing, and that matter was settled confidentially out of court. After a helicopter crashed, killing three executives of his New Jersey hotel casino business, Trump sued the manufacturers, and that case was dismissed. Trump Plaza was fined $200,000 for moving African-American and female employees away from a racist and sexist gambler to accommodate him, but Trump was not evidently investigated, nor held personally liable, and said he would not even recognize that gambler. Also during that decade, Trump's father, Fred Trump, made an unlawful loan to one of his son's casinos to help it make a mortgage payment, and the casino was required to pay a $30,000 fine, but his son was not penalized.
Also in the 1990s, Trump sued business partner Jay Pritzker for allegedly collecting excessive fees, and the matter was settled. Boarding house owner Vera Coking sued for damage during construction of an adjacent casino, and later dropped the suit against Trump while settling with his contractor; she also prevailed against Trump and other developers in an eminent domain case. In the late 1990s, Donald Trump and rival Atlantic City casino owner Stephen Wynn engaged in an extended legal conflict during the planning phase of new casinos Wynn had proposed to build, and the cases were ultimately settled.
In the 2000s, Trump was charged with lobbying for government rejection of proposed casinos that would compete with his casinos, and he paid $250,000 to settle resulting fines. When one of his companies was charged by the SEC with poor financial reporting, Trump's attorney said the culprit had been dismissed, and that Trump had personally been unaware of the matter. Following litigation with Leona Helmsley that started in the 1990s regarding control of the Empire State Building, Trump in 2002 sold his share in that building to rivals of Helmsley.
Also in the 2000s, Trump sued former business partner Richard Fields for allegedly saying he still consulted for Trump, Fields counter-sued, and the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed. The town of Palm Beach fined Trump for building an 80-foot (24-meter) pole for the American flag at his Mar-a-Lago property, Trump then sued, and a settlement required Trump to donate $100,000 to veterans' charities, while the town agreed to let Trump enroll out-of-towners in his social club, and permitted a 10-foot shorter flagpole elsewhere on his lawn. When the California city of Rancho Palos Verdes thwarted luxury home development on a landslide-prone area owned by Trump, he sued, and the city agreed to permit extensions for some 20 more proposed luxury homes. Trump sued a law firm he had used, Morrison Cohen, for using his name, for providing news links at its website, and for charging excessive fees, after which the firm halved the fees, and the court ruled that the links were allowable. And, in the late 2000s, Trump was sued by investors in the canceled Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico; Trump said he had merely been a spokesperson, and he settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.
In the 2010s, the Trump Organization licensed a hotel and condo project in Fort Lauderdale, but the bursting of the real estate bubble led Trump to dissolve the deal, after which the project defaulted, investors sued, and Trump was caught in the ongoing lawsuits because he had participated in advertising. Trump personally guaranteed $40 million to secure a $640 million loan for Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, and when Deutsche Bank tried to collect it, Trump sued the bank for harming the project and his reputation, and the bank then agreed to extend the loan term by five years. Trump was involved with a for-profit real estate investment training program called Trump University, and the State of New York has filed a lawsuit against the re-named "Trump Entrepreneur Initiative" (New York regulators decided the word "university" was misleading) for allegedly illegal business practices, while class action lawsuits proceed in three states. The Supreme Court of Scotland rejected Trump's suits against the nation of Scotland, in which Trump had alleged that the country was illegally building a wind farm near his golf course and planned hotel.
Also in the 2010s, Trump sued the former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin after she alleged that the Miss USA 2012 pageant was rigged, and a federal judge upheld the settlement obliging her to pay Trump $5 million. Trump sued Palm Beach County for pressuring the FAA to direct air traffic over his home. He also sued chefs Geoffrey Zakarian and José Andrés, the latter saying there was no merit in Trump's allegation that he backed out of a deal at the Old Post Office Pavilion. Trump sued the town of Ossining, New York over the property tax valuation on his golf course there, after separately being sued for modifying a drainage system that allegedly damaged a library, public pool, and park facilities. In connection with a Trump presidential campaign event at Trump Tower in New York City, five men sued Trump whose security staff allegedly punched one of them. Deborah Garcia, a restaurant worker at Trump SoHo, claims that tips were illegally withheld from employees, while the Trump Organization advises her to sue their alleged employer, a third-party contractor.
Journalists David Cay Johnston and Wayne Barrett, the latter of whom wrote an unauthorized 1992 Trump biography, have claimed that Trump and his companies did business with New York and Philadelphia families linked to the Italian-American Mafia. A reporter for the Washington Post writes, "he was never accused of illegality, and observers of the time say that working with the mob-related figures and politicos came with the territory."
According to a New York state report, Trump circumvented corporate and personal campaign donation limits in the 1980s — although he did not break any laws — by donating money to candidates from 18 different business subsidiaries, rather than giving primarily in his own name. Trump told investigators he did so on the advice of his lawyers. He also said the contributions were not to curry favor with business-friendly candidates, but simply to satisfy requests from friends.
Awards and honors
- 1990 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his role in Ghosts Can't Do It.
- Gaming Hall of Fame (class of 1995)
- NY Ride of Fame (class of 2010)
- Trump was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration (Hon. D.B.A.), in 2010 by Robert Gordon University. However, this degree was revoked on December 9, 2015 because Trump had made "a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university."
- Honorary Doctor of Business (Hon. D.B.), 2012, Liberty University
- WWE Hall of Fame (class of 2013) 
- Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Statesman of the Year, The Republican Party of Sarasota, 2012, 2015
- Liberty Award, in 2015 at the Algemeiner Jewish 100 Gala in honor of his positive contributions to Israel–United States relations.
- Key to the City of Doral, Florida, 2015
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- Trump Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success (2008), ISBN 978-0-470-19084-5
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|Ancestors of Donald Trump|
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- Republican Party presidential debates and forums, 2016
- Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016
- Results of the Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016
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It's a little tax
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A great time was had by all who attended the 20th Annual Semper Fidelis Gala held Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel! Colonel G.F. Robert Hanke, USMCR (Ret.) received our Semper Fidelis Award and Donald Trump received our Commandant's Leadership Award. Over 700 people gathered to support the foundation.
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- Trump: The Saga of America's Most Powerful Real Estate Baron by Jerome Tuccille (1985), ISBN 978-0917657252
- Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall by John R. O'Donnell and James Rutherford (1991), ISBN 978-0671737351
- Trump: The Deals and the Downfall by Wayne Barrett (1992), ISBN 978-0060167042
- Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump by Harry Hurt III (1993), ISBN 978-0393030297
- The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate by Gwenda Blair (2001), ISBN 978-0743210799
- TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald by Timothy L. O'Brien (2005), ISBN 978-0446578547
- Donald Trump: The Candidate by Gwenda Blair (2007), ISBN 978-1416546542
- Trump-Style Negotiation: Powerful Strategies and Tactics for Mastering Every Deal by George H. Ross (2008), ISBN 978-0470225295
- Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success by Michael D'Antonio (2015), ISBN 978-1250042385
- What America Needs: The Case for Trump by Jeffrey Lord (2016), ISBN 978-1621575238
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