Billionaire real estate mogul and former reality television personality Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States.
Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York, the fourth of five children of Frederick C. and Mary MacLeod Trump. Frederick Trump was a builder and real estate developer who specialized in constructing and operating middle-income apartments in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Donald was an energetic, assertive child, and his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy at age 13, hoping the discipline of the school would channel his energy in a positive manner.
Trump did well at the academy, both socially and academically, rising to become a star athlete and student leader by the time he graduated in 1964. He then entered Fordham University and two years later transferred to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics. During his years at college, Trump secured education deferments for the Vietnam War draft and ultimately a 1-Y medical deferment after he graduated.
In 2004, Donald Trump began starring in the hit NBC reality series The Apprentice, which also spawned the offshoot The Celebrity Apprentice. Trump turned his attention to politics, and in 2015 he announced his candidacy for president of the United States on the Republican ticket.
After winning a majority of the primaries and caucuses, Trump became the official Republican candidate for president on July 19, 2016. That November, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, after defeating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump followed his father into a career in real estate development, bringing his grander ambitions to the family business. As a student, Trump worked with his father during the summer and then joined his father’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, after graduation from college.
He was able to finance an expansion of the company’s holdings by convincing his father to be more liberal in the use of loans based on the equity in the Trump apartment complexes. However, business was very competitive and profit margins were narrow.
Expanding his empire to the south, around this time Trump developed a condominium project in West Palm Beach, Florida, and in 1989 he branched out to purchase the Eastern Air Lines Shuttle for $365 million, which he later renamed the Trump Shuttle.
After failing to be profitable, Trump defaulted on the loans and the airline venture ended in 1992 after a merger. In January 1990, Trump flew to Los Angeles to unveil a plan to build a $1 billion commercial and residential project featuring a 125-story office building.
On June 16, 2015, Trump made his White House ambitions official when he announced his run for president on the Republican ticket for the 2016 elections, joining a crowded field of more than a dozen major candidates. “I am officially running for president of the United States,” Trump said during his announcement at Trump Towers in New York City, “and we are going to make our country great again.” He added with his signature bravado: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”