Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States of America. Before assuming the position, he was a real estate investor and television personality known for his reality show, The Apprentice.
Trump began participating in his father’s real estate business in his early 20s causing him to develop a deep interest in the game of buying rundown structures and giving them golden touch.
He made a fortune in the real estate business amassing great wealth and engraving his name in the sector as the guru.
Believing that “Everything in life is luck,” Trump expanded his portfolio beyond apartments and hotels to casinos, golf courses, television programs and using his name as a branding tool for other people’s products.
Though he lost a lot of money in the process of investing in various avenues, Trump learned his lessons fast and walked out of bad investments.
Trump conquered the business world has employed thousands of employees in America, prompting his desire to go the top job in the country, presidency. He shocked many when he scooped the presidential seat even after losing in the popular vote and having no former military or government service.
Career: From business Tycoon to 45th and current President of the United States
While pursuing his studies at Wharton School in 1968, Trump joined his father’s real estate business, Elizabeth Trump, and Son.
They shared the office in Sheepshead, Brooklyn, New York for five years as he received mentorship on thriving in real estate development from Trump Sr. They owned middle-class rental houses and refurbished old apartments before selling them.
In 1971, Trump became president of the company and renamed it The Trump Organization; his father ascended to chairman position. As the ventured into acquiring more property, they accused of denying tenancy to African Americans in their apartments, but they made no admission to the wrong.
Trump started his Manhattan real estate firm by buying property that was in desperate need of repairs, restored them to their glory. He began with the rundown Commodore Hotel; he remodeled and reopened in 1980 as Grand Hyatt Hotel.
He also acquired many apartment towers in Manhattan and remodeled them while incorporating 21st-century services and amenities, among them, the 58-story Trump Tower in 1983.
He made the top three floors of Trump Tower his residence and some of the offices within the building offices for The Trump Organization.
Trump bought Palm Beach’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida from Marjorie Merriweather Post Foundation after Merriweather’s death for $10 million. He revamped it and turned it into a private club in 1995 where members paid $100,000 as an initiation fee and $14,000 annual payments.
The initiation amount doubled in November 2017. Unlike other Palm Beach clubs, Trump opened Mar-a-Lago to gay couples, Jewish members, and African-Americans.
In 1986, Trump was awarded a contract to complete repairs of Wollman Rink in Central Park, Manhattan after the previous contractor failed to renovate it within the allocated budget and time since 1980.
He put together a team consisting of a Canadian ice-rink maker, an architect and a construction company. He completed the job in 4 months while spending less than a third of the allocated budget. Having publicized the whole process through regular press conferences, he won the bid to run it from 1987 to 1995 and then again from 2001 to 2021.
Trump bought a 20-story Plaza Hotel in Midtown, Manhattan in 1988 for $390 million, renovated it and had his wife manage it.
Despite the excellent work, he ended up in huge debts since the operating income wasn’t enough to repay the debt acquired in the whole process of purchase and restoration. He sold it in 1995.
Between 1994 and 1997, Trump restored Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York, initially Gulf and Western building to accommodate 200 condominiums and many hotel rooms.
Other bits of real estate Trump owned in part or full within New York as of February 2018 included Spring Creek Towers, Trump World Tower, Trump Plaza, 40 Wall Street and Trump Tower.
Growing the Portfolio
Despite going through multiple financial shakeups, Trump set up four casinos in Atlantic City and one in Indiana between 1984 and 1995; at Trump Plaza in 1984, Trump Castle in 1985, Trump Taj Mahal in 1988, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts (THCR) in 1995 and Trump Casino in Indiana.
In 1991, Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy after over a year of running, followed by Trump Plaza. While trying to rescue his investments, he put what remained of Trump Plaza, Trump Castle and Trump Casino and Trump Casino under THCR in 1995 and in the following year purchased the Taj Mahal.
THCR also filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and 2009 with a few assets. He resigned from the board with 10% of the company.
Trump set up the entire Atlantic City domain on credit, made a lot of money for himself and later lost the empire. His thoughts,
“In the end, you’re measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish,”
He learned his lessons.
Casino businesses may not have favored Trump, but a less gambling environment, golf course did. Following his instincts, “Owning a great golf course gives you great power,” he purchased Trump International Golf Club in Florida in 1999 and redesigned.
The returns and prestige he enjoyed were great! As of July 2018, Trump had acquired 17 golf courses in various states in America and other countries like Scotland, Ireland, and UAE.
Bearing a powerful name and a net worth of over $1 billion as of 2001, The Trump Organization started branding and management by licensing his name for building projects, consumer products, and services around the world.
He didn’t need to own any of the assets or products for the owners to have his name; they paid for it. This kept him from any legal disputes over such.
Real estate investors in Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, India, Panama, Philippines, Uruguay, UAE, Puerto Rico and Turkey signed to this deal. As of early 2017, there were at least 50 such deals.
Products using Trump’s name include alcoholic drinks, clothing, and food.
Trump also invested in Miss Universe pageants; Miss USA and Miss Teen USA from 1996 to 2015, his daughter Ivanka was involved in the management of the business.
In 2002, he partnered with NBC network to air Miss Universe along with Univision, a Spanish-speaking network. The deal flopped after Trump made controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants in 2015.
NBC backed out of the relationship leaving Trump to buy their share of the organization. They also forbid him from doing further business with them including The Celebrity Apprentice, a reality show NBC aired in 2003 where Trump was the producer and host. Trump later sold the whole business to a talent agency.
Pursuing the Presidential Seat
Trump’s presence in the political world seemed like a shadow as he changed his stand from a Democrat, to Republican, to Independent than to Democrat and Republic in 2009.
In 2011 he spoke in public about his desire to run for the presidency in the 2012 election but later withdrew his word and supported Republican Mitt Romney. He believed,
“We need a president with tremendous intelligence, smarts, cunning, strength, and stamina.”
In 2015 he announced that he would forego the opportunity to do another season of his show, The Apprentice and pursue politics instead. To the surprise of many, Trump announced his desire to run for the American presidency in June 2015 on a Republican vote.
Having created a name for himself in real estate and on TV, many people didn’t see a possible victory for the business mogul.
He began his presidential campaigns at Trump Tower in Manhattan, funded a massive part of his campaign and won the popular vote in the Republican Party in early 2016. He became the presumptive Republican nominee campaigning against Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Trump chose Mike Pence, Indiana Governor, and lawyer to become his running mate, a move approved by the Republicans.
Throughout the campaigns, polls showed that Democrats were in the lead as Trump seemed to gather the support of only white working-class voters. Trump stunned observers around the world when he won in 30 states while his opponent scored in 20 making exact his words,
“My whole life is about winning. I don’t lose often. I almost never lose.”
He assumed office on January 20, 2017, as the 45th Presidents of the USA with the intention of running for the presidency again in 2020.
A Quick Look at Donald Trump’s Philanthropy
Trump’s way of giving is tied to certain intentions. He says,
“I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.”
In 1986, Trump gave the profits he made from operating Wollman Rink after he completed renovating it to charities and public projects in exchange for concession rights.
He also donated 11.5 acres of his golf course in California to Palos Verdes Peninsula after he failed to build luxury homes on it due to landslides related concerns.
In regards to the Donald J. Trump Foundation which he created to handle proceeds from his book, The Art of the Deal, to charitable causes, he stopped contributing personal funds there in 2008. Since then, the foundation lobbies donations from other people.
Donald Trump Net Worth
In 1981, Trump earned an annual payment of over $214,000 from several trust funds. Among them, one set by his paternal grandmother when he was 3 years, while his father set another valued at $1 million for each of his children 1976.
With several assets shared between him and his father, Trump’s net worth stood at $200 million in 1982; he was listed in the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans.
Through severe losses in his business between 1990 and 1995, Trump’s name lost its grip on Forbes 400. Though Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, some of his companies like Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Plaza hotel have used Chapter 11 Bankruptcy allowing Trump to retain control over them despite being in debt.
In 2005, Forbes reflected Trump’s net worth at $2.6 billion, while Deutsche Bank stated $788 million according to his loan documents. Though in 2015, Forbes quoted his net worth at $4.5 billion sourced from television and real estate, as of February 2018, they recorded a decline to $3.1 billion.
His source of wealth is spread across real estate, brand businesses, golf clubs, resorts, cash and personal assets. He was named one of the richest politicians and the richest president in U.S. history.
On several occasions, Trump values his net worth higher than firms that report about his wealth. During the presidential campaigns in 2016, he claimed a net worth of over $10 billion in the Personal Financial Disclosure form filed with the federal government.
Many firms refuted this claim saying he had quoted too high. That didn’t matter to Trump, he felt,
“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.”
Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in New York, USA as the fourth of 5 children born to Fred Christ Trump Sr., a wealthy real estate developer and Mary Anne MacLeod whom he later referred to a perfect housewife.
He grew up in Jamaica, an estate for the affluent in Queens, New York and went to Ken-Forest preparatory school for his kindergarten through seventh grade. After realizing that he had gone to Manhattan several times without their knowledge, his parents took him to a private boarding school, New York Military Academy when he turned 13.
In 1964, Trump joined Fordham University for his tertiary education but was transferred to Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania after two years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics in May 1968.
Here’s His Top Rules:
Timeline of Trump’s marriages and children:
Trump has been through 3 marriages and two widely publicized divorces. On April 7, 1977, he married Ivana Zelnickova, a Czech model who later became a businesswoman and American citizen.
Together they born three children; Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric.
She divorced him in 1992 citing Trump’s affair with Marla Maples, an American actress.
He married Maples in December 1993 two months after the birth of their daughter Tiffany but separated in May 1997 and divorced in June 1999. Maples brought up their daughter in California.
In September 1998, Trump met Melania Knauss, a Slovenian model at a party and the two became friends. He proposed to her in 2004 and married her on January 22, 2005, at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, Florida. She became an American citizen and bore him a son, Barron William Trump in 2006.
Knauss describes Trump as a great father who loves his children. Even after the two divorces, Trump maintains a good relationship with his ex-wives and the children.
Throughout their lives, Trump has ensured that each child receives an excellent education. He entrusted the running of his businesses to Donald and Eric, his elder sons upon his inauguration as president of America in 2017.
Speaking to multitudes during the presidential campaigns in 2016, Trump named ‘The Art of the Deal,’ a book he wrote as his second favorite book. His number one on the list is the Bible.
Trump is keen to eat food made and produced in America. He prefers not to have breakfast but loves having dinner. He doesn’t drink alcohol, never smoked a cigarette or used drugs in his life; not even marijuana.
Net worth: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2015/09/29/2015-forbes-400-full-list-of-americas-richest-people/#2fe0e26e3c64, https://www.forbes.com/donald-trump/#707940572899
Biography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxNYaN1f7Mk
Philanthropy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_J._Trump_Foundation, https://www.dailybreeze.com/2015/01/15/donald-trump-turns-over-115-acre-easement-in-rancho-palos-verdes-for-open-space/
Golf courses: https://money.cnn.com/2016/12/29/news/donald-trump-golf-courses/index.html