Family and personal life
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, Friedrich 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 boom-town 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", founded in 1923,[nb 1] was primarily active in the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. Fred eventually built and sold thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments. The company was later renamed The Trump Organization, after Donald Trump took charge in 1971.
Trump's mother Mary Anne 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.
Trump's uncle John was an electrical engineer, physicist, and inventor. He worked as a professor at MIT from 1936 to 1973. During World War II, he was involved in radar research for the Allies and helped design X-ray machines that were used to treat cancer.
Early life and education
Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens, New York City, the fourth of five children. Trump grew up in Jamaica, 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, after his parents discovered that he had made frequent trips into Manhattan without their permission.
In 1964, Trump began his higher education 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, and graduated in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in economics. He would later boast that he had excelled in his class of 333 students at Wharton, and claimed that he had been first in the class, although his classmates do not recall his academic achievements and he was not mentioned in the student newspaper's honor roll.
Trump did not serve in the military 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 July 1968, after graduating from college, was briefly classified as eligible to serve by a local draft board. In October 1968, he was classified as 1-Y, "unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency," and given a medical deferment which he later attributed to heel spurs; in 1972, the medical deferment was changed to 4-F, "not qualified for service." In the draft lottery in December 1969, Trump's birthday, June 15, received a high number which would have given him a low probability to be called to military service even without the 1-Y medical deferment.
Trump grew up with three elder siblings—Maryanne, Fred Jr., and Elizabeth—as well as a younger brother named Robert. Maryanne is an inactive Federal Appeals Court judge on the Third Circuit.
Trump has five children by three marriages, as well as nine grandchildren. His first two marriages ended in widely publicized divorces.
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. (born 1977), Ivanka (born 1981), and Eric (born 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 after 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 2005, Trump married his third wife, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, Florida. The ceremony was followed by a reception at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. In 2006, Melania became a United States citizen and gave birth to a son, Barron. Melania became First Lady upon Trump's inauguration as president in January 2017.
Upon his inauguration as president, 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's ancestors were Lutheran on his father's side in Germany and Presbyterian on his mother's side in Scotland. His parents married in a Manhattan Presbyterian church in 1936. As a child, he attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, and had his Confirmation there. In the 1970s, his family joined the Marble Collegiate Church (an affiliate of the Reformed Church in America) in Manhattan. The pastor at that church, Norman Vincent Peale ministered to Trump's family and mentored him until Peale's death in 1993. Trump, who is Presbyterian, has cited Peale and his works during interviews when asked about the role of religion in his personal life.
Trump says he receives Holy Communion, but that he does not ask God for forgiveness. 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 had associations with a number of Christian spiritual leaders, including Florida pastor Paula White, who has been called his "closest spiritual confidant". In 2015, he received a blessing from Greek Orthodox priest Emmanuel Lemelson and released a list of religious advisers, including James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Ralph Reed, and others. Referring to his daughter Ivanka's conversion to Judaism before her marriage to Kushner, Trump said: "I have a Jewish daughter; and I am very honored by that."
Trump does not drink alcohol; this decision arose in part from watching his older brother Fred Jr. suffer from alcoholism that contributed to his early death in 1981. He also said that he has never smoked cigarettes or consumed drugs, including marijuana.
During the 2016 presidential campaign Trump's personal physician, Harold Bornstein, released a superlative-laden letter of health—which he later said Trump himself had dictated—praising Trump for extraordinary health, physical strength, and stamina. A second and less hyperbolic medical report from Bornstein showed Trump's blood pressure, liver, and thyroid function to be in normal ranges. It also showed that he is overweight and takes statins to lower his cholesterol level.In January 2018, Trump was examined by White House physician Ronny Jackson, who stated that he is in excellent health, although his weight and cholesterol level were higher than recommended. A cardiac assessment revealed no medical issues. Several prominent physicians who have not examined Trump have commented that his weight, lifestyle, and LDL cholesterol level of 143 do not indicate excellent health. Trump requested to undergo a cognition test, and passed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment with a score of 30/30. Jackson stated, "I’ve found no reason whatsoever to think that the President has any issues whatsoever with his thought process".
Trump said that he began his career with "a small loan of one million dollars" from his father. He appeared on the initial Forbes 400 list of wealthy individuals in 1982 with an estimated $100 million fortune. He made the Forbes World's Billionaires list for the first time in 1989, but he was absent from the Forbes 400 list following business losses from 1990 to 1995; he reportedly borrowed from his siblings' trusts in 1993. His father's estate, valued at more than $20 million, was divided in 1999 among Trump, his three surviving siblings, and their children.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump submitted the required financial disclosure form which was released by the Federal Election Commission in mid-May 2016. The campaign claimed Trump's net worth exceeded $10 billion; however, the New York Times reported that "the figure cannot be verified with the disclosure form, because the largest range for a single asset’s worth is 'over $50 million.'"
Forbes has disagreed with Trump over his net worth, and in July 2015 they lowered their valuation of Trump "from $4.1 billion to $4 billion since his controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants during his campaign launch speech". Consumer boycotts and reduced bookings may have further affected his brand value during the presidential campaign. The release of the Access Hollywood tapes in October 2016 put further pressure on his brand, but real estate experts predicted a positive rebound from becoming president.
In its 2018 billionaires ranking, Forbes estimated Trump's net worth at $3.1 billion (766th in the world, 248th in the U.S.) making him one of the richest politicians in American history. These estimates fluctuate from year to year, and among various analysts. Discrepancies among estimates and with Trump's own figures stem mainly from the uncertain values of appraised property and of his personal brand.