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 father was Frederick Christ Trump, a Bronx-born real estate developer, whose own parents were German immigrants. His mother was Scottish-born housewife and socialite Mary Anne MacLeod Trump. 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. He excelled at sports. His favorite sport was golf, and he was a tight end on the football team in his freshman and sophomore years. In 1964, Trump enrolled at Fordham University. Two years later he transferred to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania after an interview with an admissions officer who had been a classmate of Trump's brother Fred. While at Wharton, he worked at the family business, Elizabeth Trump & Son, graduating in May 1968 with a B.S. in economics. The Boston Globe in 2015 contacted some of Trump's former Wharton classmates, who described him as a vocal but unexceptional student, rarely participating in campus activities and instead pursuing his business career.
While in college, Trump 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 classified him as eligible to serve. In October 1968, he was medically deferred and classified 1-Y: "Unqualified for duty except in the case of a national emergency". Trump said in 2015 that the medical deferment was due to a bone spur in his feet and that he could not remember which foot was afflicted; his presidential campaign stated that he had minor bone spurs in both heels and that they were expected to be temporary. In 1972, he was reclassified 4-F, which permanently disqualified him from service. In the December 1969 draft lottery, Trump's birthday, June 14, received a high number that would have given him a low probability of being called up.
Profiles of Trump published in The New York Times in 1973 and 1976 erroneously reported as fact that Trump had graduated first in his class at Wharton. A 1984 Times profile of Trump noted that he had never made the school's honor roll. In 1988, Trump acknowledged this to New York magazine.
Trump's ancestors on his father's side came from the German village of Kallstadt in the Palatinate, and on his mother's side from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. His paternal grandfather, Frederick Trump, immigrated to the United States in 1885 at age 16 and became a citizen in 1892. He married Elisabeth Christ in 1902, and the couple settled in New York in 1905. Frederick died during the 1918 flu pandemic.
Trump's father Fred was born in 1905 in the Bronx and started working with his mother in real estate when he was 15, shortly after his father's death. Their company, "E. Trump & Son",[d] founded in 1923, was active in the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, building and selling thousands of houses, barracks, and apartments. In spite of his German ancestry, Fred claimed to be Swedish amid the anti-German sentiment sparked by World War II; Trump repeated this claim, including in his book The Art of the Deal, until the 1990s. Trump's mother Mary Anne MacLeod was born in Tong, Lewis, Scotland, to a Gaelic-speaking family. At age 18 in 1930, she emigrated to New York, where she worked as a maid. Fred and Mary were married in 1936 and raised their family in Queens. Trump grew up with three elder siblings—Maryanne, Fred Jr., and Elizabeth—and younger brother Robert.
In 1977, Trump married Czech model Ivana Zelníčková. They have three children, Donald Jr. (b. 1977), Ivanka (b. 1981), and Eric (b. 1984), and ten grandchildren. Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988. The couple divorced in 1992, following Trump's affair with actress Marla Maples. Maples and Trump married in 1993 and had one daughter, Tiffany (born 1993). They were divorced in 1999, and Tiffany was raised by Marla in California. In 2005, Trump married Slovenian model Melania Knauss. They have one son, Barron (born 2006). Melania gained United States citizenship in 2006.
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 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.
Trump says he is "not sure" whether he ever asked God for forgiveness: "If I do something wrong, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture." 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 saying, "Nothing beats the Bible."
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, which included James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Ralph Reed, Michele Bachmann, and Robert Jeffress.
Health and lifestyle
Trump abstains from alcohol, a reaction to his older brother Fred Trump Jr.'s alcoholism and early death, and claims to have never smoked cigarettes or cannabis. He is known to enjoy eating fast food. He has said he prefers three to four hours of sleep per night.
In December 2015, Harold Bornstein, who had been Trump's personal physician since 1980, released a letter stating that he would "be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency". Bornstein noted that Trump had an appendectomy at age 10, but did not mention the bone spurs that Trump said caused his medical deferment from the military at age 22. A follow-up letter by Bornstein in September 2016 showed Trump's blood pressure, liver and thyroid functions to be in normal ranges, and that he takes a statin to control cholesterol. In May 2018, Bornstein said Trump himself had dictated the contents of the December 2015 letter, and that three Trump representatives, including longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller, had taken away his medical records in February 2017.
In January 2018, Trump was examined by White House physician Ronny Jackson, who said 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, after a new examination, White House physician Sean Conley said Trump was in "very good health overall", although he was clinically obese. His 2019 coronary CT calcium scan score indicates he suffers from coronary artery disease, which is common for white males at his age.
He has called golfing his "primary form of exercise", although he usually does not walk the course. He considers exercise a waste of energy, because he believes the body is "like a battery, with a finite amount of energy" which is depleted by exercise.
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 ninety percent" of the Trump family's business in an effort to secure a higher ranking on the Forbes 400 list of wealthy Americans. Greenberg also wrote that Forbes had vastly overestimated Trump's wealth and wrongly included him on the Forbes 400 rankings of 1982, 1983, and 1984.
Trump has often said 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. The New York Times reported that "year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer", and Trump's "core business losses in 1990 and 1991—more than $250 million each year—were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years". In 1995 his reported losses were $915.7 million.