From Business Mogul to Reality TV Star, to GOP Contender for President!
 article about The Story of Donald Trump Before Politics

Donald Trump: A Business Mogul Turned Presidential Hopeful

Donald John Trump was born on the 14 June, 1946 in Queens, New York. He was child number four in a family of 5 children to Mary MacLeod Trump and Frederick C. Trump. Donald Trump's father, Frederick, was involved in middle-income apartments in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Donald's parents instantly recognized his eagerness and enthusiasm in everything that he put his mind to. To better channel his energy, they enrolled him in the New York Military Academy at the age of 13.

For Trump, the New York Military Academy instilled in him the necessary skills to succeed as an assertive, diligent and strong leader. His academic prowess shone through and his social skills were fine-tuned. Trump was also an excellent athlete, and by the time he graduated at the age of 20 he was a student leader and a mentor to many of his peers. After graduation, he enrolled at Fordham University for a period of 2 years. Following that, he transferred over to the Wharton School of Finance one of the most prestigious business schools in the country at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1968 Trump graduated with an economics degree.

Trump is a prominent real estate developer who got his big break in 1971 with massive construction projects in Manhattan, New York City. Fast forward to 1980, Trump officially opened the Grand Hyatt Hotel. That was a pivotal point in his meteoric rise to fame and fortune. Trump quickly became known as a polarizing figure in business circles. The Apprentice proved to be Donald Trump's most successful television venture. The NBC reality series garnered tremendous acclaim from viewers across the country, and ratings went through the roof.

The reality TV series gave rise to The Celebrity Apprentice. Not one to rest on his laurels, Donald Trump decided to throw his name into the GOP pool of candidates for the upcoming 2016 November election. He announced his candidacy in 2015, and quickly blew away the competition to become the #1 contender for the Republican ticket against Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Trump's rise to the top of the political ticket was met with fierce resistance from GOP stalwarts. Trump wasted no time attacking the character of each of his political opponents, before turning his attention to Hillary Clinton.

New York Business Tycoon

It comes as no surprise that Donald Trump's inspiration for real estate development came from his father. However, what Frederick C. Trump achieved was to be dwarfed by his son's achievements. Donald raised the bar to a level that was seemingly unreal, yet his personality and his influential abilities got the right people interested in his projects time and again. The Trump name has become synonymous with success, despite multiple bankruptcy filings, scandals and faux pas. In the early days of Trump's real estate career, he learned as much as he could from working summer internships alongside his father. After graduating college in 1968, Trump joined his father's company Elizabeth Trump & Son.

Trump was instrumental in expanding the company in a way that his father had never dreamt possible. He did this by using the equity of the business in apartment complexes in order to secure loans. The real estate market in the 1960s and 1970s was difficult and profit margins were slim. By early 1971, Donald Trump asserted himself as head of Elizabeth Trump & Son. In a bold move, Trump renamed the company the Trump Organization. To better position himself amongst the industry heavyweights, he relocated the company's headquarters to Manhattan, New York City. That's precisely where Trump began to rub shoulders with the who's who of the real estate world, and he greased the company's wheels in a big way. Trump was always a firm believer in New York's financial potential.

To this end, he began developing expansive real estate projects in Manhattan with extremely high profit potential. Trump was never one to do things in half measures his buildings were artistically beautiful and impeccably well-designed. He quickly became known as a mover and a shaker and he won public recognition on a grand scale. By 1974, Donald Trump got involved with one of the most prestigious hotels in Penn Central the Commodore. The location was superb, and by 1975 a partnership was inked with Hyatt hotel Corporation. After a series of slick deal making manoeuvres, Trump got New York City to offer a four-decade tax abatement with full financing for the renovation of the building. Within several years the hotel was a thriving hotspot and Donald Trump became a power player in the real estate industry.

Trump Buildings

By 1977 Trump married his sweetheart, Ivana Zelnickova Winklmayr. A year later Donald John Trump Jr was born, and his wife Ivana became the VP of design at the Trump Organization. By 1982, Trump Tower (a 58-story tenement) was opened alongside one of New York City's most prestigious locations Tiffany & Company. At around the same time, Trump became very interested in the casino industry in New Jersey. He acquired several properties in Atlantic City, and brought Robert Trump his brother to acquire the land necessary for setting up a hotel & casino. They received a gambling license, financing and permits and were in close consultation with Holiday Inn Corporation. Harrah's at Trump Plaza was opened in 1984, and Trump purchased Holiday Inn Corporation and renamed it Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. He then went on to acquire another Hilton Hotel in Atlantic City after it was turned down for a gambling license and it became known as Trump Castle a $320 million complex. He also opened up Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City the world's largest hotel & casino enterprise at the time.

Trump Organization Falters but Recovers

By 1990, the real estate market in the US had lost its legs and the Trump empire was in serious trouble. By that time, Donald Trump affirmed that his net worth was $1.5 billion, but closer examination revealed that figure to be inflated by a multiple of three. The Trump Organization needed lots of financing to keep it afloat, and thanks to the big-name appeal that he had, banks were more than happy to keep him afloat. His earnings were plunging, but he clawed his way back from a deficit of almost $1 billion, and Trump claimed that his net worth had exceeded $2 billion at the time while independent analysts were of the opinion that it was likely closer to $500 million.

Whatever negative publicity Trump suffered in the business world, he more than made up for on television. The Apprentice was a smash hit sensation. Trump's musings about politics began as early as 2012 when he questioned President Barack Obama's birth certificate. He was clearly at odds with the US president, and this only exacerbated his already controversial appeal with the American populace. Trump has been a divisive figure in the political arena with scathing remarks against Mexicans, Chinese, Koreans and virtually anyone who has a negative thing to say about him. Trump's defamatory comments against various groups led to a cancellation of the NBCUniversal Miss Universe Pageant in conjunction with Donald Trump. Trump has certainly courted controversy while acting as the proverbial court jester in political circles. Nonetheless, he remains an entertaining if not acerbic character for the American populace and the global arena.