Facts about Donald Trump

Donald Trump is 78 years old
Born: June 14, 1946
Best known as: President of the United States, 2017-2021

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Donald Trump Biography

Donald Trump was the 45th president of the United States, and the only U.S. president to be impeached twice. He succeeded President Barack Obama on January 20, 2017, served one term, and was succeeded by Joe Biden on January 20, 2021.

The presidency was Donald Trump’s first public office. Previously he was best known for his starring role on the reality show The Apprentice, and before that as a self-promoting property developer and businessman who managed to make his name synonymous with New York-sized hustle, money and ego.

Donald Trump attended Fordham University for two years before transferring to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1968. (He did not get an MBA there, as is sometimes reported.) Trump then started young in the New York real estate business of his father, Fred Trump. In the 1970s, Donald Trump began presenting himself as a Manhattan deal-maker, talking banks and city government into financing his ambitious developments. He built the grandiose and gold-trimmed Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in 1982, and soon he moved into the casino business in New Jersey.

Outspoken and flamboyant, Donald Trump became a favorite of the press, and his multiple marriages and divorces were regular tabloid fodder. (Trump was married to model Ivana Zelnicek from 1977-92 and to Marla Maples from 1993-99. He married his third wife, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, on January 22, 2005, and she became First Lady after his election as president.)

Trump went suddenly on the skids in 1990, finding himself over $900 million in debt and facing bankruptcy. But he managed to rebound; by the year 2000 he was again claiming a net worth of over a billion dollars. He talked publicly about running for the U.S. presidency the same year, then decided against it.

In 2004 he began playing the demanding boss-man in what became a long-running NBC reality series, The Apprentice. (“You’re fired,” his ritualistic dismissal of the show’s losers, became a popular catch-phrase.) He also made noises about running for president in the elections of 2008 and 2012, but never formally tossed his hat in the ring until June of 2015, when he said “I am officially running for president of the United States.”

Donald Trump became the Republican front-runner, both loved and hated for his brash statements, blunt insults, and flat-out lies on all sorts of topics, especially on the social media platform Twitter. Trump’s last remaining competitors dropped out of the race in May of 2016, leaving him as the Republican nominee for 2016. He named Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.

Trump faced Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (wife of former president Bill Clinton) in the general election, winning in a surprise upset on November 8, 2016, after a campaign in which Clinton had held steady leads in most polls. Trump captured 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232, although Clinton did win the popular vote by more than 2.7 million votes. He took office the following January.

In 2018, The New York Times released a special investigative report showing that rather than building his fortune alone, Trump had received up to $413 million from his father, real estate developer Fred Trump — much of it through “dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud.” A spokesman for Trump denied the claims.

Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives in January of 2020, after it was proved he had withheld foreign aid from the Ukraine while demanding that their leaders launch an investigation of his political rival, Joe Biden. During the Senate trial Republican majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell openly talked of coordinating strategies with Trump’s team, forecasting an acquittal along party lines. Trump was acquitted by votes of 52-48 (on the charge of abuse of power) and 53-47 (on the charge of obstruction of Congress).

The Republican Party nominated Trump for president again in 2020. In the general election he lost to Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who was vice president under Barack Obama from 2008-16. Trump refused to acknowledge Biden’s win, lying that the election was “rigged” and filing lawsuits without success in states across the country. After his followers stormed the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, killing a Capitol policeman in the process, Trump was impeached a second time by the U.S. House of Representatives on a charge of inciting insurrection.

Trump left office on January 20, 2021. In a final gesture of ill-will, he refused to greet Joe Biden at the White House or attend Biden’s inauguration. His second impeachment trial was held after he left office, and Trump was again acquitted. The vote was 57-43, with the majority favoring conviction and only Republicans voting against, but a two-thirds majority would have been needed to convict.

In a 2023 civil case brought by E. Jean Carroll, a jury found that Trump had sexually abused Carroll in a 1996 incident in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store. The jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll nearly $5 million in damages for the sexual abuse, and for defaming Carroll in his statements about the trial.

Later that year, on June 8, 2023, Donald Trump was charged with crimes by the U.S. Justice Department in relation to his alleged removal of hundreds of classified documents to his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, after he left the White House. The seven counts included charges of illegal retention of government secrets, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy. He is the first former president in history ever to face federal charges.

Extra credit

Donald Trump’s nickname is “The Donald”… Donald Trump has three children with his wife Ivana: Donald Jr. (b. 1977), Ivanka (b. 1981) and Eric (b. 1984); he has one daughter with Maples, Tiffany Trump (b. 1993); and he has a son with Knauss, Barron Trump (b. 2010)… Donald Trump is known for his objection to handshakes; a 1999 Time magazine article quoted him as saying “I think the handshake is barbaric… Shaking hands, you catch the flu, you catch this, you catch all sorts of things”… Donald Trump did not serve in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. According to a 2016 story in The New York Times, “after he graduated from college in the spring of 1968, making him eligible to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, [Trump] received a diagnosis that would change his path: bone spurs in his heels. The diagnosis resulted in a coveted 1-Y medical deferment that fall… The deferment was one of five Mr. Trump received during Vietnam. The others were for education”… Donald Trump’s books include Trump: The Art of the Deal (1988), Trump: Surviving at the Top (1990), Trump: The Art of the Comeback (1997);  Trump: How to Get Rich (2004); and Crippled America (2015).


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