When Donald Trump announced that he was running for President of the United States, we all had a great laugh and went about our business. We laughed and made memes while Trump made people start believing his hype, and we are now faced with the frightening reality that this man could be our next President. Trump was born in Queens in NYC to a stay-at-home mother and a real estate developer father. His mother was born on the Scottish island of Lewis and Harris and his father, born in Queens as well, was the son of German immigrants. A 13-year-old Trump left school due to behavioral issues and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy where he finished out high school. He went on to graduate with a bachelors degree in economics from the University of PA.
Trump managed to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War thanks to four student deferments and a medical deferment for heel spurs in one or both feet, depending on which day you ask him about it. He began working for his father’s company and eventually found himself in the spotlight when he was accused of violating the Fair Housing Act. Trume settled the charges without admitting any guilt. He was in court again regarding this issue several years later, again admitting no guilt.
He made a few successful business moves, but ended up bankrupting the Taj Mahal Casino in New Jersey after being unable to make loan payments. The death of his father in 1999 gave Trump a nice financial boost thanks to the division of the estate among Trump and his 3 siblings. As of July 2015, Trump’s income is said to be $362 million. He refuses to release his federal tax returns publicly because of “ongoing audits.”
Trump owns multiple properties, one of which is Trump Tower in Manhattan. This location houses his primary residence and the headquarters of the Trump Organization. The tower occupies the former site of the Bonwit Teller flagship store. During demolition, valuable sculptures slated to be sent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art were destroyed. Trump also employed illegal Polish immigrant workers for the demolition process, paying them $4-$5 per hour for 12 hour shifts for the rushed demo.
Donald Trump has never personally filed for bankruptcy, but his businesses have certainly gone under. Trump himself has said that he plays with the bankruptcy laws and they are “very good” for him as a tool for eliminating debt. According to him, this is something that other “great entrepreneurs” often do. In 1991, Trump Taj Mahal filed, and in 1992, the Trump Plaza Hotel filed. In 2004, Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts filed, and Trump commented that he “figured it was the bank’s problem, not mine. What the hell did I care?” I actually told one bank, you shouldn’t have loaned me that money.” In 2009 and again in 2014, Trump Entertainment Resorts filed, and Trump actually ended up suing the company to get his name removed.
The Apprentice, Donald Trump’s reality show premiered in 2003 on NBC where people competed for a management position in one of Trump’s enterprises. Trump earned $50,000 per episode for the first season, but that was bumped to a million per episode after the show took off. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007 for his work on the reality series. When Trump announced his Presidental plans, NBC decided to continue the show without him. In June 2015, NBC released a statement saying “due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBC is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” thus severing his ties with the show.
In 2011, Trump decided to question President Obama’s citizenship. He stated that his grandmother in Kenya said that Obama was born in Kenya and that she was there to witness it. Trump also questioned whether or not President Obama had good enough grades to get into Harvard Law School. He sent a team of private investigators to Hawaii, where Obama was born, and began releasing statements that suggested he had found out that Obama was not in fact a US citizen. His tactics resulted in the President releasing his birth certificate, which still wasn’t enough to shut the man up.
Trump has been married three times and divorced twice. His first wife was a Czech model, Ivana, who became a US citizen in 1988. He had an affair with actress Marla Maples which led to the divorce. After the couple split, Trump sued Ivana for not honoring a gag order in their divorce agreement, but claims that now the two are the best of friends. Trump married Maples, formally separated from her after 4 years and finalized the divorce two years later. He then moves on to another model, Melania. In 2006, Melania became a US citizen.