We’re pretty much sure there’s no one in the U.S. that hasn’t heard of this man. It’s actually impossible not to know who Donald Trump is as long as you have a television set in your home. He’s not only too successful to remain unnoticed, he’s also surrounded by controversies, and we all know how well those sell to the public. Add to this the fact that he’s got his own (incredibly successful) TV show and that he has been recently roasted on Comedy Central Roasts, and the chances of never having heard of Trump get really minimal.
Now this time we’re not talking about a very emotional story of a poor orphan turned billionaire. Actually this story is not even about a middle-class child who got to go to a fine school and then became an incredibly wealthy personality. Donald Trump comes from a very different background than those we’ve described until now: this guy’s father was actually a millionaire.
But that doesn’t make his genius any less real. Whether you love this man or you simply can’t stand him (and we know there are enough people in both categories), there’s no way you can ignore the fact that this real estate mogul is a truly talented business man who knows how run his affairs and how to shoot up ratings. Otherwise he would not be where he is today: one of the richest men alive and among the first 500 on Forbes’ list of billionaires.
It all started in 1946, when on June 14 Mary Anne McLeod Trump, wife of Frederic Christ Trump, gave birth to her fourth child, Donald John Trump. Well, actually it all started some nine moths before that, but that’s irrelevant. Frederic (Fred) Trump was a very successful real estate developer who specialized in constructing middle income apartments in Queens (where Donald was born), Brooklyn and Staten Island. This explains how Donald got to appreciate the business and how he later chose to follow on his father’s steps.
As a child he was known to be very assertive and full of energy. This was not a bad thing per se, but it did get the boy in some trouble at the Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills, where he was studying. His parents decided it was better for young Donald to go to a military school (New York Military Academy) in order to channel his energy in a constructive direction. The result was great: the boy graduated as a student leader and a star athlete in 1964.
From here he was ready to continue his studies, so he went to Fordham University for two years. He then transferred to University of Pennsylvania because, as Donald himself put it, “after two years I decided that as long as I had to be in college, I might as well test myself against the best.” In 1968 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in economics and finance.
Right after finishing college he returned home and started working for his father. He used to have a thing for acting and he once thought about attending film school, but he finally decided that “real estate was a much better business”. He showed great talent in what he was doing and Fred Trump talks about him saying that “some of my best deals were made by my son, Donald…everything he touches turns to gold”.
After working a while for his dad, Donald decided he wanted more from the business and moved to Manhattan, where he believed better opportunities awaited. And he wasn’t wrong. With innovative and attractive architectural designs, he soon won public recognition and a lot of money, of course. It wasn’t easy, especially at first, but with his perseverance and great skills he managed to impress people an make a name for himself.
Sadly, no story is all butterflies and rainbows, so after his early success between 1968-1989, some really difficult times came over Donald and his businesses. Serious financial issues brought him so down that many believed it was the beginning of the end for him. Gladly, he found enough solutions and resources to recover, and slowly but surely Donald Trump got back on his feet again. The financial crisis that started in 2008 affected him too, but the man still made it on the latest Forbes list of the richest people in the world, with an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion.
Up until now, Trump has written several books, has made numerous media appearances and has conquered TV audiences with its successful reality show “The Apprentice”, where a group of competitors battle for a well-paid management job in one of Trump’s enterprises, and pray not to hear the famous catchphrase “You’re fired!”. When the show started in 2004, Trump was earning $50,000 per episode, but as ratings soared, so did his income: he now earns $3 million per episode. Mind-blowing, huh?
Donald Trump also has a great passion for feminine beauty, even though some might believe his fetish for his name is even greater (Trump Towers, Trump Plaza, Trump Hollywood, Trump Parc, Trump International Hotel and Tower…you get the idea). Together with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Donald owns the Miss Universe Organization which produces the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants. Then, all his three wives were particularly beautiful, starting with Ivana Trump (with whom he has three children: Donald, Ivanka, and Eric), continuing with his second wife, Marla Maples (who was the reason for his divorce from Ivana and is the mother of his fourth child, Tiffany), and ending – hopefully – with his third wife, Melania Knauss, the mother of his fifth child, Barron William Trump.
Other hobbies of his include golf and wrestling – an odd combination, we know, but nevertheless a real one. He is a renowned WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) fan and also a friend of the sports entertainment company’s owner, Vince McMahon. As far as golf is concerned, not only does Trump love to play the sport, but he also developed some impressive golf courses to highlight his passion.
The man has pretty much done everything he wanted in life (including keeping his trademark comb-over hairstyle, no mater what) and is very happy with his business: “It’s tangible, it’s solid, it’s beautiful. It’s artistic, from my standpoint, and I just love real estate”. The only thing that he would have loved to be a little different was his love life. In 2004 he said “I wish I’d had a great marriage”, and then, talking about Melania he said she “makes my life easy; one of the things I so love about her is that she makes my life easier. (…) Now I hope that continues.”
And so do we! We hope his business, his love life, his health and his philanthropy actions will all grow and keep Donald Trump one of the most successful and admirable men on Earth for a long time.