Family and personal life
Early life and education
Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, at the Jamaica Hospital in the borough of Queens, New York City. His parents were Frederick Christ Trump, a real estate developer, and Mary Anne MacLeod. Trump grew up in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens, and attended the Kew-Forest School from kindergarten through seventh grade. At age 13, he was enrolled in the New York Military Academy, a private boarding school. In 1964, Trump enrolled at Fordham University. After two years, he transferred to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. While at Wharton, he worked at the family business, Elizabeth Trump & Son. He graduated in May 1968 with a B.S. in economics.
When Trump was in college from 1964 to 1968, he obtained four student draft deferments. In 1966, he was deemed fit for military service based upon a medical examination and in July 1968, a local draft board briefly classified him as eligible to serve. In October 1968, he was given a medical deferment that he later attributed to spurs in the heels of both feet, which resulted in a 1-Y classification: "Unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency." In the December 1969 draft lottery, Trump's birthday, June 14, received a high number that would have given him a low probability to be called to military service even without the 1-Y. In 1972, he was reclassified as 4-F, which permanently disqualified him from service.
In 1973 and 1976, The New York Times reported that Trump had graduated first in his class at Wharton. However, a 1984 Times profile of Trump noted that he had never made the honor roll. In 1988, New York magazine reported Trump conceding, "Okay, maybe not 'first,' as myth has it, but he had 'the highest grades possible.'"
Ancestry and parents
Trump's ancestors originated from the German village of Kallstadt in the Palatinate on his father's side, and from the Outer Hebrides in Scotland on his mother's side. All of his grandparents and his mother were born in Europe.
Trump's paternal grandfather, Frederick Trump, first immigrated to the United States in 1885 at the age of 16 and became a citizen in 1892. He amassed a fortune operating boomtown restaurants and boarding houses in the Seattle area and the Klondike region of Canada during its gold rush. On a visit to Kallstadt, he met Elisabeth Christ and married her in 1902. The couple permanently settled in New York in 1905. Frederick died from influenza during the 1918 pandemic.
Trump's father Fred was born in 1905 in the Bronx. Fred started working with his mother in real estate when he was 15, shortly after his father's death. Their company, "E. Trump & Son",[c] founded in 1923, was primarily active in the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Fred eventually built and sold thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments. In spite of his German ancestry, Fred claimed to be Swedish amid anti-German sentiment sparked by World War II. Donald Trump repeated this claim in The Art of the Deal.
Trump's mother Mary Anne MacLeod was born in Tong, Lewis, Scotland. At age 18 in 1930, she immigrated to New York, where she worked as a maid. Fred and Mary were married in 1936 and raised their family in Queens.
Wives, siblings, and descendants
Trump grew up with three elder siblings—Maryanne, Fred Jr., and Elizabeth—as well as a younger brother named Robert. Maryanne was an inactive Federal Appeals Court judge on the Third Circuit since February 2017; she retired in February 2019, rendering moot a judicial conduct investigation into her alleged participation in fraudulent tax schemes with her siblings.
Trump has five children by three marriages, as well as nine grandchildren. In 1977, Trump married Czech model Ivana Zelníčková, at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, in a ceremony performed by the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale. They had three children: Donald Jr. (b. 1977), Ivanka (b. 1981), and Eric (b. 1984). Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988. The couple divorced in 1992, following Trump's affair with actress Marla Maples. In October 1993, Maples gave birth to Trump's daughter, who was named Tiffany in honor of high-end retailer Tiffany & Company. Maples and Trump were married two months later in December 1993. They divorced in 1999, and Tiffany was raised by Marla in California.
In 1998, Trump met Slovenian model Melania Knauss. She became his third wife when they married in 2005 at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, Florida. In 2006, she gained United States citizenship and gave birth to a son, Barron. Melania became First Lady when Trump took office as president in January 2017.
Upon his inauguration, Trump delegated the management of his real estate business to his two adult sons, Eric and Don Jr. His daughter Ivanka resigned from the Trump Organization and moved to Washington, D.C., with her husband Jared Kushner. She serves as an assistant to the President, and he is a Senior Advisor in the White House.
Trump is a Presbyterian. His ancestors were Lutheran on his paternal grandfather's side in Germany and Presbyterian on his mother's side in Scotland. His parents married in a Presbyterian church in Manhattan in 1936. As a child, he attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, where he had his confirmation. In the 1970s, his parents joined the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, part of the Reformed Church. The pastor at Marble, Norman Vincent Peale, ministered to Trump's family and mentored him until Peale's death in 1993. In August 2015 Trump told reporters, "I am Presbyterian Protestant. I go to Marble Collegiate Church," adding that he attends many different churches because he travels a lot. The Marble Collegiate Church then issued a statement noting that Trump and his family have a "longstanding history" with the church, but that he "is not an active member".
Trump said he was "not sure" whether he ever asked God for forgiveness, stating "If I do something wrong, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture." He said he tries to take Holy Communion as often as possible because it makes him "feel cleansed". While campaigning, Trump referred to The Art of the Deal as his second favorite book after the Bible, saying, "Nothing beats the Bible." The New York Times reported that evangelical Christians nationwide thought "that his heart was in the right place, that his intentions for the country were pure."
Trump has associations with a number of Christian spiritual leaders, including Florida pastor Paula White, who has been called his "closest spiritual confidant." In 2015, he released a list of religious advisers, including James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Ralph Reed, Michele Bachmann, Robert Jeffress, and others.
Trump does not drink alcohol, a reaction to his older brother Fred Trump Jr.'s alcoholism and early death. He has stated that he has never smoked cigarettes or used drugs, including marijuana. In December 2015, Trump's personal physician, Harold Bornstein, released a superlative-laden letter of health, which stated that Trump's "physical strength and stamina are extraordinary." Bornstein later said that Trump himself had dictated the contents of the letter. A follow-up medical report showed Trump's blood pressure, liver and thyroid functions to be in normal ranges, and that he takes a statin. In January 2018, Trump was examined by White House physician Ronny Jackson, who stated that he was in excellent health and that his cardiac assessment revealed no medical issues, although his weight and cholesterol level were higher than recommended. Several outside cardiologists commented that Trump's weight, lifestyle, and LDL cholesterol level ought to have raised serious concerns about his cardiac health. In February 2019, Trump underwent another physical examination; White House physician Sean Conley said Trump was in "very good health overall", although Trump had gained weight and was now clinically obese.
In 1982, Trump was listed on the initial Forbes List of wealthy individuals as having a share of his family's estimated $200 million net worth. His financial losses in the 1980s caused him to be dropped from the list between 1990 and 1995, and reportedly obliged him to borrow from his siblings' trusts in 1993. In its 2019 billionaires ranking, Forbes estimated Trump's net worth at $3.1 billion[a] (715th in the world, 259th in the U.S.) making him one of the richest politicians in American history and the first billionaire American president. During the three years since Trump announced his presidential run in 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth declined 31% and his ranking fell 138 spots. When he filed mandatory financial disclosure forms with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in July 2015, Trump claimed a net worth of about $10 billion; however FEC figures cannot corroborate this estimate because they only show each of his largest buildings as being worth over $50 million, yielding total assets worth more than $1.4 billion and debt over $265 million. Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars of yearly income from 2014 to 2018. Trump stated in a 2007 deposition, "My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings."
Journalist Jonathan Greenberg reported in April 2018 that Trump, using a pseudonym "John Barron," called him in 1984 to falsely assert he then owned "in excess of 90 percent" of the Trump family's business in an effort to secure a higher ranking on the Forbes 400 list of wealthy Americans.
Trump has often said that he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father, and that he had to pay it back with interest. In October 2018, The New York Times reported that Trump "was a millionaire by age 8", borrowed at least $60 million from his father, largely failed to reimburse him, and had received $413 million (adjusted for inflation) from his father's business empire over his lifetime. According to the report, Trump and his family committed tax fraud, which a lawyer for Trump denied; the tax department of New York says it is "vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation" into it. Analyses by The Economist and The Washington Post have concluded that Trump's investments have under-performed the stock market. Forbes estimated in October 2018 that the value of Trump's personal brand licensing business had declined by 88% since 2015, to $3 million.
Trump's tax returns from 1985 to 1994 show net losses totaling $1.17 billion over the ten-year period, in contrast to his claims about his financial health and business abilities. In 1995 his reported losses were $915.7 million.