Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television producer, author, politician, and the Republican Party nominee for president in 2016. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests. During his career, Trump has built office towers, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and other branded facilities worldwide.
Born and raised in the borough of Queens in New York City, Trump received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. While attending college, he worked in his father Fred Trump’s real estate and construction firm. He was given control of the business in 1971 and later renamed it The Trump Organization.
Trump has made cameo appearances in films and television series, and he appeared at the Miss USA pageants, which he owned from 1996 to 2015. He sought the Reform Party presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began. He hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC, from 2004 to 2015.
Listed by Forbes among the world’s wealthiest 500 billionaires, Trump and his businesses, as well as his personal life and political views, have for decades received considerable media exposure. In June 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president as a Republican and quickly emerged as the front-runner for his party’s nomination. In May 2016, his remaining Republican rivals suspended their campaigns, and in July he was formally nominated for president at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Trump’s campaign has received extensive media coverage and international attention. Many of his statements in interviews, on Twitter, and at campaign rallies have been controversial or false. Several rallies during the primaries were accompanied by protests or riots. Trump’s positions include renegotiation of U.S.–China trade deals, opposition to particular trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, stronger enforcement of immigration laws together with building a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, reform of veterans’ care, replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and tax cuts. During the primary, Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States, later stating that the ban would focus instead on countries with a proven history of terrorism, until the level of vetting can be raised to screen out potential terrorists.
Early life, ancestry, education and military status
Main article: Ancestry of Donald Trump
Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Jamaica Estates, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City. He was the second youngest child of Mary and Fred Trump’s five children. Of his four siblings, three are living: Maryanne, Elizabeth, and Robert. Trump’s older brother Fred Jr. died in 1981 from alcoholism, which Trump says led him to avoid trying alcohol or cigarettes.
Trump is of German ancestry on his father’s side and Scottish ancestry on his mother’s side; all four of his grandparents were born outside of the United States. His father Fred (1905–1999) was born in New York and became one of the biggest real estate developers in New York City. His mother, Mary Trump (née MacLeod, 1912–2000), was born in Scotland. Fred and Mary met in New York and married in 1936, settling together in Queens.
Drumpf, the family’s ancestral name, was changed to Trump during Germany’s Thirty Years’ War in the seventeenth century. Trump has said that he is proud of his German heritage; he served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.[nb 1]
Trump as a teenager at New York Military Academy, 1964
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), where he finished eighth grade and high school. In 1983, Fred told an interviewer that Donald “was a pretty rough fellow when he was small”, and at least two people who resided nearby or attended his elementary school recall him as a bully, though others including Trump himself recall him as rambunctious. During his senior year, Trump participated in marching drills, wore a uniform, and attained 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, beginning in August 1964. He then transferred to the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, which offered one of the few real estate studies departments in United States academia. While there, he worked at the family’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, named for his paternal grandmother. Trump graduated from Wharton in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.
Trump was not drafted during the Vietnam War. While in college from 1964 to 1968, he obtained four student deferments. In 1966, he was deemed fit for service based upon a military medical examination, and in 1968 was briefly classified as fit by a local draft board, but was given a 1-Y medical deferment in October 1968. In an interview for a 2015 biography, Trump attributed his medical deferment to heel spurs. In December 1969 Trump received a high number in the draft lottery, which would also have exempted him from service.