Donald Trump

Donald Trump
Head shot of Trump smiling in front of an American flag. He is wearing a dark blue suit jacket, white shirt, light blue necktie, and American flag lapel pin.
45th President of the United States
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
Vice PresidentMike Pence
Preceded byBarack Obama
Personal details
Donald John Trump

(1946-06-14) June 14, 1946 (age 73)
Queens, New York City
Political partyRepublican (1987–1999, 2009–2011, 2012–present)
Other political
RelativesTrump family
EducationThe Wharton School (BS in Econ.)
  • Politician
  • businessman
  • real estate developer
  • television personality
Net worthUS$3.1 billion (March 2019)[a]
AwardsList of honors and awards
SignatureDonald J Trump stylized autograph, in ink

Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.

Trump was born and raised in the New York City borough of Queens, and received an economics degree from the Wharton School. He took charge of his family's real estate business in 1971, renamed it The Trump Organization, and expanded it from Queens and Brooklyn into Manhattan. The company built or renovated skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. Trump later started various side ventures, mostly by licensing his name, managing the company until his 2017 inauguration. He co-authored several books, including The Art of the Deal, owned the Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants from 1996 to 2015, and produced and hosted The Apprentice, a reality television show, from 2003 to 2015. Forbes estimates his net worth to be $3.1 billion.

Trump entered the 2016 presidential race as a Republican, defeating sixteen candidates in the primaries. Commentators described his political positions as populist, protectionist, and nationalist. He was elected president in a surprise victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, although he lost the popular vote.[b] He became the oldest first-term U.S. president,[c] the wealthiest U.S. president, and the first one without prior military or government service. His election and policies have sparked numerous protests. Trump has made many false or misleading statements during his campaign and presidency. The statements have been documented by fact-checkers, and the media have widely described the phenomenon as unprecedented in American politics. Many of his comments and actions have been characterized as racially charged or racist.

During his presidency, Trump ordered a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, citing security concerns; after legal challenges, the Supreme Court upheld the policy's third revision. He enacted a tax cut package for individuals and businesses, which also rescinded the individual health insurance mandate and allowed oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge. He appointed Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In foreign policy, Trump pursued his America First agenda, withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Iran nuclear deal. He also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imposed import tariffs on various goods (triggering a trade war with China), and started negotiations with North Korea seeking denuclearization.

Family and personal life

Early life and education

Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, at the Jamaica Hospital in the borough of Queens, New York City.[1][2] His parents were Frederick Christ Trump, a real estate developer, and Scottish-born housewife Mary Anne MacLeod.[3] Trump grew up in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens, and attended the Kew-Forest School from kindergarten through seventh grade.[4][5] At age 13, he was enrolled in the New York Military Academy, a private boarding school.[6][7][8] In 1964, Trump enrolled at Fordham University.[9][10] After two years, he transferred to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[10][11] According to Trump biographer Gwenda Blair, his grades at Fordham were "respectable" and he was able to transfer to Wharton after an interview with an admissions officer who was formerly a classmate of Trump's brother Freddy.[12] While at Wharton, he worked at the family business, Elizabeth Trump & Son;[13] he graduated in May 1968 with a B.S. in economics.[10][14][15] The Boston Globe in 2015 contacted former Wharton classmates of Trump, who described him as a vocal but unexceptional student, who rarely partook in campus activities and instead often pursued his business career.[16] By the age of 22, Trump had a sports background in football, squash and tennis, and was just starting to play golf.[17]

A black-and-white photograph of Donald Trump as a teenager, smiling and wearing a dark pseudo-military uniform with various badges and a light-colored stripe crossing his right shoulder
Senior yearbook photo of Trump in 1964 wearing the uniform of his private boarding school, New York Military Academy

When Trump was in college from 1964 to 1968, he obtained four student draft deferments.[18][19] In 1966, he was deemed fit for military service based upon a medical examination and in July 1968, a local draft board classified him as eligible to serve. However in October 1968, he was given a medical deferment which resulted in a 1-Y classification: "Unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency."[20] Trump said in July 2015 that his medical deferment was due to his "feet"; he "had a bone spur", but said he could not remember which foot was injured. Trump's presidential campaign then stated that Trump had bone spurs in both feet.[21] His Selective Service Draft Card states that he had a birthmark on both heels.[22]

In the December 1969 draft lottery, Trump's birthday, June 14, received a high number that would have given him a low probability to be called to military service even without the 1-Y classification.[20][17][23] In 1972, he was reclassified as 4-F, which permanently disqualified him from service.[17][24]

In 1973 and 1976, The New York Times reported that Trump had graduated first in his class at Wharton. However, a 1984 Times profile of Trump noted that he had never made the honor roll. In 1988, New York magazine reported Trump conceding, "Okay, maybe not 'first,' as myth has it, but he had 'the highest grades possible.'"[25]

Ancestry and parents

Trump's ancestors on his father's side came from the village of Kallstadt in the Palatinate, now part of Germany[26] and on his mother's side from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.[27]

Trump's paternal grandfather, Frederick Trump, immigrated to the United States in 1885 at age 16 and became a citizen in 1892.[28] He amassed a fortune operating boomtown restaurants and boarding houses in the Seattle area and the Klondike region of Canada during its gold rush.[28] On a visit to Kallstadt, he met Elisabeth Christ and married her in 1902. The couple settled in New York in 1905.[26] Frederick died from influenza during the 1918 pandemic.[29]

Trump's father Fred was born in 1905 in the Bronx and started working with his mother in real estate when he was 15, shortly after his father's death. Their company, "E. Trump & Son",[d] founded in 1923,[34] was active in the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Fred eventually built and sold thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments.[29][35] In spite of his German ancestry, Fred claimed to be Swedish amid anti-German sentiment sparked by World War II.[36][37] Donald Trump repeated this claim in The Art of the Deal.[37][38][39]

Trump's mother Mary Anne MacLeod was born in Tong, Lewis, Scotland, to a Gaelic-speaking family. At age 18 in 1930, she emigrated to New York, where she worked as a maid.[40] Fred and Mary were married in 1936 and raised their family in Queens.[40][41]

Wives, siblings, and descendants

Trump is sworn in as president by Chief Justice John Roberts on January 20, 2017: Trump, his wife Melania, and his children Donald Jr., Barron, Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany

Trump grew up with three elder siblings – Maryanne, Fred Jr., and Elizabeth – as well as a younger brother named Robert. Maryanne is a retired judge for the Third Circuit of the Federal Appeals Court.[42]

Trump has five children by three marriages, as well as nine grandchildren.[43][44] In 1977, he married Czech model Ivana Zelníčková at Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, in a ceremony performed by the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale.[45][46][47][48] They had three children: Donald Jr. (b. 1977), Ivanka (b. 1981), and Eric (b. 1984). Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988.[49] The couple divorced in 1992, following Trump's affair with actress Marla Maples.[50] In October 1993, Maples gave birth to Trump's daughter, who was named Tiffany after jewelers Tiffany & Company.[51] Maples and Trump were married two months later in December 1993 in Manhattan's Trump-owned (at that time) Plaza Hotel.[52][53] They divorced in 1999,[54] and Tiffany was raised by Marla in California.[55]

In 1998, Trump met Slovenian model Melania Knauss,[56] and they married in 2005 at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, Florida.[57] In 2006, she gained United States citizenship[58] and gave birth to a son, Barron.[59][60] Melania became First Lady when Trump took office as president in January 2017.[61]


Trump is a Presbyterian.[62][63][64] His ancestors were Lutheran on his paternal grandfather's side in Germany[65] and Presbyterian on his mother's side in Scotland.[66] His parents married in a Presbyterian church in Manhattan in 1936.[67] As a child, he attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, where he had his confirmation.[68] In the 1970s, his parents joined the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan,[69] part of the Reformed Church.[70] The pastor at Marble, Norman Vincent Peale,[68] ministered to Trump's family and mentored him until Peale's death in 1993.[71][69]

Trump said he was "not sure" whether he ever asked God for forgiveness, stating "If I do something wrong, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture." He said he tries to take Holy Communion as often as possible because it makes him "feel cleansed".[62] While campaigning, Trump referred to The Art of the Deal as his second favorite book after the Bible, saying, "Nothing beats the Bible."[72]

Trump has associations with a number of Christian spiritual leaders, including Florida pastor Paula White, who has been called his "closest spiritual confidant."[73] In 2015, he released a list of religious advisers, which included James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Ralph Reed, Michele Bachmann, and Robert Jeffress.[74][75]

Health and lifestyle

Trump was seventy years old when he took office, surpassing Ronald Reagan as the oldest person to assume the presidency.[76] Comments on his age, weight and lifestyle have raised questions about his physical health.

Trump does not drink alcohol, a reaction to his older brother Fred Trump Jr.'s alcoholism and early death.[77][78] He has stated that he has never smoked cigarettes or used drugs, including marijuana.[79] He avoids tea and coffee, but fast food is a favorite cuisine of his.[80] Trump has said he prefers three to four hours of sleep per night.[81]

In December 2015, Harold Bornstein, who had been Trump's personal physician since 1980, released a letter stating that Trump "will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency".[82][83] Bornstein noted that Trump had an appendectomy at age 10, but did not mention the bone spurs that Trump said caused his medical deferment from the military at age 22.[17] A follow-up letter by Bornstein in September 2016 showed Trump's blood pressure, liver and thyroid functions to be in normal ranges, and that he takes a statin to control cholesterol. In May 2018, Bornstein said that Trump himself had dictated the contents of the December 2015 letter,[84] and that three Trump representatives, including longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller, had taken away his medical records in February 2017.[85][86][why?]

In January 2018, Trump was examined by White House physician Ronny Jackson, who stated that he was in excellent health and that his cardiac assessment revealed no medical issues,[87] although his weight and cholesterol level were higher than recommended.[88] Several outside cardiologists commented that Trump's weight, lifestyle, and LDL cholesterol level ought to have raised serious concerns about his cardiac health.[89] In February 2019, after a new examination, White House physician Sean Conley said Trump was in "very good health overall", although Trump at 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) and 243 lb (110 kg) was clinically obese with a body mass index of 30.4.[90] Trump's 2019 coronary CT calcium scan score indicates he suffers from coronary artery disease, which is common for white males at his age.[91]

Numerous public figures, media sources, and mental health professionals have speculated that Trump may have mental health issues.[e] The most common diagnosis cited is narcissistic personality disorder;[94] some cite delusional disorder;[95] some suggest early dementia.[96][97] In April 2017 an online petition aimed at mental health professionals, calling for Trump to be removed from office, gathered more than 41,000 signatures and was sent to Democratic senator Chuck Schumer.[98] In October 2017, psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee published The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, containing essays from 27 psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals on the danger they believe that Trump's mental health poses to the nation and to individual well-being.[99] Trump has dismissed questions regarding his mental health, saying that he is a "very stable genius"[100][101] and that he has "one of the great memories of all time".[102]


In 1982, Trump was listed on the initial Forbes List of wealthy individuals as having a share of his family's estimated $200 million net worth. His financial losses in the 1980s caused him to be dropped from the list between 1990 and 1995, and reportedly obliged him to borrow from his siblings' trusts in 1993.[103] In its 2019 billionaires ranking, Forbes estimated Trump's net worth at $3.1 billion[a] (715th in the world, 259th in the U.S.)[106] making him one of the richest politicians in American history and the first billionaire American president.[106] During the three years since Trump announced his presidential run in 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth declined 31% and his ranking fell 138 spots.[107] When he filed mandatory financial disclosure forms with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in July 2015, Trump claimed a net worth of about $10 billion;[108] however FEC figures cannot corroborate this estimate because they only show each of his largest buildings as being worth over $50 million, yielding total assets worth more than $1.4 billion and debt over $265 million.[109] Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars of yearly income from 2014 to 2018.[108][110][111] Trump stated in a 2007 deposition, "My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings."[112]

Journalist Jonathan Greenberg reported in April 2018 that Trump, using a pseudonym "John Barron," called him in 1984 to falsely assert he then owned "in excess of 90 percent" of the Trump family's business in an effort to secure a higher ranking on the Forbes 400 list of wealthy Americans.[113]

Trump has often said that he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father, and that he had to pay it back with interest.[114] In October 2018, The New York Times reported that Trump "was a millionaire by age 8", borrowed at least $60 million from his father, largely failed to reimburse him, and had received $413 million (adjusted for inflation) from his father's business empire over his lifetime.[115][116] According to the report, Trump and his family committed tax fraud, which a lawyer for Trump denied; the tax department of New York says it is "vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation" into it.[117][118] Analyses by The Economist and The Washington Post have concluded that Trump's investments have under-performed the stock market.[119][120] Forbes estimated in October 2018 that the value of Trump's personal brand licensing business had declined by 88% since 2015, to $3 million.[121]

Trump's tax returns from 1985 to 1994 show net losses totaling $1.17 billion over the ten-year period, in contrast to his claims about his financial health and business abilities. In 1995 his reported losses were $915.7 million.[122][123]