Who exactly was Donald Trump before he became the 45th president of the United States? Even he was just a little boy at some stage in his life, he was born in Queens. Trump’s history starts off with the success of his grandfather, many years before our time. The family went on to enjoy more success as his dad eventually became the successor of the family company. The history of the Trump family will definitely give you more of an idea about the man Donald Trump is today…
A Little Boy
Donald Trump was born to parents Mary Anne Macleod and Fred Trump on June 14, 1946. He was the fourth child of the couple who married more than ten years before his birth. Donald Trump was born at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Queens. His heritage was originated in Scottish roots from his mother’s side and German from his father’s. Fredrick Trump, his grandfather, moved to the United States at the young age of 16 in 1885, but it was not until 1892 he became a legal citizen. He was an exceptional businessman and started the family legacy by opening “boomtown” restaurants and boarding residencies. Donald posted a picture on his Facebook page as a throwback, it read, “Who knew this innocent kid would grow into a monster?” He was joking, of course.
Fredrick Trump earned a great deal of money for his family. In 1902, Fredrick married Elisabeth Christ. The couple settled in New York City in 1905. 1905 coincidentally is also the year Fred Trump was born, Donald’s dad. Fred got involved with the real estate business at the young age of 15. In 1923, E. Trump & Son was launched by Fred and his mother. The pair conducted business mainly in the Brooklyn and Queens sections of New York City. In 1936, Fred married Mary Anne MacLeod. The couple had five children. Donald was known for living by his own rules from a very young age. Below he is pictured with his brothers and sisters. From the left to right, Donald, Fred Jr., Elizabeth, Maryanne, and Robert.
Donald attended the Kew-Forest School from kindergarten up until the seventh grade. This was a college prep school in Queens. When he turned 13 his parents decided to send Donald to a private boarding school called the New York Military Academy. They did this as punishment when it became known he was traveling to Manhatten frequently without their knowledge. Donald became a popular guy on campus. This photo was also shared on Facebook with the caption, #TBT My confirmation picture at First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, N.Y.”
Love of Sports
Whilst attending the military company, Donald Trump played multiple sports. He is 6’2″ after all, but participated in tennis, golf, squash, and football. Photos from his old school showed him on the varsity baseball team. Although it came the time where he lost interest in sports, he maintained his love for golf. It can even be said that it is a main aspect of his life!
As a football player at NYMA Donald was a big fan of the sport, this may be why he bought a football team. Little did he know that would be his future. He also tried to run an American football league. The league had been built to compete with the popular National Football League.
Donald Trump shared this photo on his Facebook page with the caption, “#TBT Myself with mother and father at New York Military Academy. See, I can be very military. High rank!” He said he was “very military,” but it was forgotten that he deferred five separate drafts during the Vietnam War. Four of these were for time spent in college. The last, was due to a bone spur diagnosis in his heels. This information is being put in the spotlight much more recently. The daughter of the doctor who diagnosed him said that it was a simple favor to Fred Trump. Apparently, Fred was the landlord of the podiatrist who made the “diagnosis.”
The Beat Of His Own Drum
We have no doubt that you have heard a multitude of things regarding Donald Trump. It is no secret he likes to do things in his own manner. In none other than a “Throwback Thursday” post he showed off a photo of him in the NYMA uniform. Beforehand he had said that the uniform made him look “very military,” despite never serving. He would go on to be involved in a dispute after making a critique regarding U.S. Senator John McCain. The senator was in fact captured and became a prisoner during the Vietnam War. Trump said that not only was he not a war hero but explained, “I like people that weren’t captured.”
Donald Trump graduated from the academy in May 1964. He went on to Fordham University. However, Donald decided to transfer two years later to the University of Pennsylvania. In 1968, he received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Ivy League school. Below is Donald’s senior yearbook photo from 1964. Right after he decided to run for president, the New York Daily News featured this photo on the front page. Following he criticized McCain. The newspaper opened the eyes of many to the medals on the uniform and jokingly said they must have been awarded to Trump for “being neat.”
The photo below is of Donald at his graduation from Wharton. Standing next to him is his father Fred Trump. He posted the photo to his Instagram account. The Potus discussed the manner in which his father made the company even more successful by developing and then selling “thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments” in the New York region. Donald went on to be the president of E. Trump & Son just three years after. However, the name was changed to Trump Organization.
Trump posted the below photo on his Facebook profile saying, “#TBT With my father, Fred Trump, in Brooklyn,1975. A great Father’s Day gift—a stay at my 5-star hotel.” It must have been a good moment for the father and son duo. However, trouble was on the rise. That same ear the family settled a case filed by the Justice Department. The case claimed that the company had been strategically discriminating against prospective African-American clients. The Justice Department stated that the company had been racially profiling their renters. This was not the first time they had to settle a case of this nature. In 1969, they were sued by management of their property in Cincinnati, Ohio. The reports claimed that Fred Trump wanted to settle as quietly as possible. Despite these things, the company continued to grow.
Father and Son
In 1982, Donald and Fred Trump cracked the list of the richest Americans released by Forbes. At the time, the father and son duo had accumulated a fortune of $200 million between them. In 1976, Fred created a trust fund for each one of his children and grandkids, they were each given $1 million. This is what Donald must be referring to when he says that a “small loan of $1 million,” is what started off his career. If you think $200 million was enough for Donald you are wrong…
Donald kept making more and more money throughout the ’80s. He eventually made the list of Forbes billionaires in 1989. However, it was later said by Jonathan Greenberg, a reporter, that Trump had tricked him about the family wealth to make it on the list. Regardless, Trump did not spend a lot of time on the billionaire list. From 1990 until 1995, the business lost a ton of money and he lost his spot. In the picture below, he discussed his failed bid to construct the New York City convention center, “#TBT As a young man when I proposed the Convention Center in New York City.”
With his fortune on the rise once again, Donald Trump began to fantasize about changing New York City History and its skyline. He planned the development of the Trump Towers for years. Eventually, the plan was approved. Construction finished in 1982. Below is Trump holding a model of the Fifth Avenue Complex project. It said in a report that “one of the apartments will sell for $11 million and [Trump] claims four bidders – none of them Americans – are bidding for it.”
In 1978, Donald Trump had his Manhattan real estate business booming. This is what made him a billionaire. He received a 50% stake in the Commodore Hotel situated beside the Grand Centra Terminal. In 1980, this hotel was redefined by the name: Grand Hyatt Hotel. The hotel was developed in partnership with the Hyatt chain of hotels. In those days, it was not all business for Trump. In 1977, he married Ivana Zelníčková. They had 3 children together but their marriage ended in 1922 as it was exposed that Trump was having an affair with Marla Maples.
Below is Donald Trump with his firstborn son, Donald Jr. The photo was taken in 1977, his two other kids wit Ivana were not born as of yet. Ivanka was born in 1981, and Eric in 1984. Whilst Trump was still married and building his family, he received some bad news. In fact, Donald Trump quit cigarettes and alcohol after this sad incident.
In 1983, Donald Trump bought the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League. In this same year, he managed to bring on Herschel Walker, a Heisman Trophy winner, to the USFL. A few years after, he drafted Boston College QB, Doug Flutie. Unfortunately, the USFL had to fold as it lost an antitrust case against the National Football League in 1986. Thus, Trump’s idea of changing the USFL season did the league no favors.
‘The Art of the Deal’
In 1988, Donald Trump founded the Donald J. Trump Foundation. The foundation was initially supposed to donate the proceeds of his famous book titled the Art of the Deal. In fact, the tax returns of the foundation show the money was distributed amongst many charities related to both healthcare and sports. The foundation also donated to conservative political groups. Trump captioned the photo, “Here with my father Fred, back in 1980. My hero, role model, and best friend. #TBT.”
Wollman Rink Renovation
New York eventually gave Donald Trump the contract to renovate Wollman Rink in Central Park, this was after overbudgeting, missed deadline, and the bureaucracy being faced. This all occurred in June 1986 however, reb=novations were finished when December came around. Without a doubt, Trump had left his mark. Of course, he added his logo to the rink railing. Trump further donated the proceeds to charity and public works.
In 1999, Fred Trump sadly passed on. At this time, the will indicated that $20 million must be split amongst the kids. Below is a photo of Trump and Fred posing outside the skating rink in Central Park post-renovation. The Trump team used this caption for the photo: “#PresidentTrump with his father Fred #Trump at the Wollman Rink in #CentralPark, #NYC – in 1987. #POTUS45 #ThrowbackThursday #TBT.”
Trump married for the second time. His second wife, Marla Maples, and him met in 1989. Their affair started when he and Ivana Trump were still legally married. Marla and Donald had a child together, Tiffany. She was named after the jewelry brand! Two months after Tiffany’s birth, Marla and Trump married at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. This establishment was purchased by Trump in 1988. He managed to convert the hotel from three-stars to four but it was sold in 1995.
If you didn’t know already, Trump loves a good throwback. Below is Trump 20 years ago. He is seen standing over Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. Like him, the kids inherited a ton of the family money and are working at the family business. The empire seems as though it is in good hands.
This is Donald posing with his “Television City” model. It was a proposal for a major commercial and residential complex in the Manhattan area called Upper West Side, right by the Hudson. Trump was aiming for it to home the headquarters of TV studios such as NBC News. The model below was a 150-story building that was meant to be the centerpiece of the area. The building was supposed to be the tallest building in the world! Unfortunately, it never went as planned and the criticism was said that it had “little connection to the varied pattern of streets” of New York on top of being “woefully simplistic.” On top of it, people who lived there were in disapproval after Trump increased the size of the original area. Complications were added when Mayor Ed Koch said he would give tax breaks to NBC for moving its studios there. In typical Trump nature, he started name-calling him, much to the delight of the tabloids.
If there was a photo of Trump that could depict just how he branched out of the family legacy, it would be this one! The photo shows Trump after the New York Board of Estimate gave him the signal to purchase and renovate the Commodore Hotel in Manhattan. Many say that this move is what set the precedence for Trump’s real estate business. However, he did receive a $70 million construction loan with his father and the Hyatt Hotel chain as the guarantors. As much as he claims to be self-made it must be noted that he did branch out of the family fortune.
Trump Tower Completion
The same year that the Commodore Hotel takeover was finalized, New York City approved the rights for the Trump Tower to be built in Manhattan. Trump apparently hired undocumented Polish workers for the demolition of the Bonwit Teller flagship store, in order to finish it. The building was beforehand being preserved by the city for its beautiful art deco features. The development of the Trump Tower took 4 years. The last spaces were opened at the end of 1983. Nowadays, commercial and residential spaces are what can be found in the building. The ones of most stature are, of course, the Trump Organization HQ and the penthouse owned by the POTUS himself.
Trump Tower Opening
Pictured below is Trump and lawyer Roy Cohn, this was during the launch of the Trump Tower in 1983. The two men are longtime friends. Cohn was, in fact, counsel for Trump during the federal lawsuit claimed by the Justice Department in which they said that Trump was not abiding by the Fair Housing Act at 39. In accordance with the file, he quoted different conditions with regards to rent, terms, and statuses to African-American clients so that they would not rent the properties. Cohn lost the case, forcing Trump to settle in 1975. Three years later he returned to court for violating the terms of the 1975 settlement.
The photo below is of Trump in Trump Tower in 1984. Trump spoke to reporters saying, “What I have done is build the most beautiful buildings in the best locations.” In the ’80s. both the Wollman Rink and the Plaza hotel were renovated. When the ’90s came around, he renovated the Gulf and Western Building and the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building on Columbus Circle and 40 Wall Street. Proceeding the major renovation it became the Trump Building. He also wanted to rename the Empire State Building after purchasing shares in it. He was hoping for the name, “Trump Empire State Building Tower Apartments.”
This photo was taken in 1986 outside a federal court. Donald seems to be leaving a building rather unhappy, this may have been due to agreeing to settle the antitrust lawsuit for a large $750,000 The government was not notified before he purchased voting stock worth over $15 million in Holiday Corp and Mally Manufacturing Corp. This may be a lot but business was going very well for Trump. Trump managed to forget about the smaller issues, he had also purchased a major estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Now known as Mar-a-Lago estate.
Was Trump feeling as if he needed more, and unhappy with his ordeals in New York City? Well, this may very well be why he transitioned to new Jersey. After casinos and gambling became legal in 1977, he moved into new business ventures. Opening Harrah’s at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in 1984. In the ’80s he also purchased many more casinos in Atlantic City. However, these purchases were in actual fact not good ideas.
Here is Donald and Fred Trump with Ed Koch, who was then mayor of New York City. The photo was taken in July 1982, they seem happy in the photo. However, Trump would not be so happy to see that his decision to purchase casinos in New Jersey was not profitable. The financial performance of his owned properties in Atlantic City were degenerating. He was forced to sell Trump SHuttle, his airline. The next asset to be sold was Trump Princess, his mega yacht. In 1995, he consolidated the casino properties under the name Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. It went bankrupt and restructured in 2004 and 2009 only.
Trump had an additional failed attempt in the Garden State. He hired Walt Michaels who was tasked as the Head Coach for the New Jersey Generals, his United States Football league Team. The team had been purchased in 1983 and the goal was for it to be a worthy contender against the National Football League. However, it was a major mistake trying to run the league. Many teams were losing money, and the fact that Trump wanted to move the schedule to fall/winter for it to directly compete with the NFL was not on their side. The USFL filed an antitrust suit against the more developed league and won, however, it only received $1 for it. Since it was a “victory in name only,” many teams could no longer afford the expenses that were associated with running the teams.
If you know the design preferences of the Potus, you might mistake this for a property from his personal portfolio. He does love gold…The photo was taken with Ivana during a trip to St. Petersburg in 1987. Trump has an interesting and diverse history with Russia. The trip was aimed to seek business opportunities there. He was invited by Ambassador Yuri Dubinin. For years he said that he did not have business deals in Russia, however, this was untrue when it was exposed that get was following a deal to construct a building in Moscow in June of 2016. Besides for that, it was shown that he had received financial support from a Russian source when he was filing for bankruptcy in the ’90s. Donald Jr, states that Russia had a “pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. … We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
It is also said that Donald Trump has recently fallen out of favor with the famous of Hollywood. However, he used to commonly attend red carpet events. He was part of the New York elite since birth. Donald also appeared in a variety of films a few decades ago, usually playing himself. Trump rose to fame, even more, when NBC had “The Donald” host The Apprentice. The 2003 airing was a major success and it is where he coined the phrase, “You’re fired.” Later there was also a spin-off series called The Celebrity Apprentice.
Nowadays, Trump is usually against the celebrities that criticize his politics. Although he has distanced himself from many of the stars, some have recently brought up a connection to a certain celebrity. This is a photo in 1997 of Trump and Jeffrey Epstein at the Mar-a-Lago in Florida. The pair had been friends for more than 10 years and Trump told New York magazine, “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Friends Like These
The comment made by Trump regarding Jeffrey liking his women “on the younger side,” received a lot of attention in 2019. In July of 2019, Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking minors in New York and Florida. Rumors had been circling for years regarding his pedophilia. Trump and Jeffrey’s spent a lot of time partying at his Florida estate. However, the friendship ended with an argument. They were both in a bidding war in 2004 as they both wanted the House of Friendship or Maison de l’Amitie in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump won the bidding war, Epstein was so angered the two did not talk after that. Four years later the property was sold to Dmitry Rybolovlev.
This official portrait was taken in 1983 of the 45th Potus and takes us back to the times where he was not in the headlines every day. The portrait was taken in the same year he made it on the list of rich people by Forbes, regarding the $200 million he shared with his dad. He was able to make a comeback in 2019, Forbes listed his estimated net worth at $3.1 billion, making him the 259th richest person in the United States. He is the first billionaire president and his wealth supposedly saw a 31% drop after he announced his presidential bid.
Whilst attending the New York Military Academy, Trump attended a number of school functions. This specific photo is from his NYMA yearbook. He was referred to as a “Ladies Man.” The photo was only identified after 50 years. She was supposedly Fran Dunn, a secretary at the school who was asked to be in the photo. Trump’s reputation as a Casanova only continued after his graduation! After all, he has been apart of his fair share of scandals.