Born June 14th, 1946, Donald John Trump is an American real estate developer, television personality, politician, and author. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts. And now, he is a Republican Presidential Candidate. No, really. He is.
Trump is a son of Fred Trump, a New York City real estate developer. He worked for his father’s firm, Elizabeth Trump & Son, while attending the Wharton and officially joined the company in 1968. A few years later was given control of the company and renamed it The Trump Organization. The Donald is worth approximately 4 billion USD, but that number changes drastically depending on who you ask and how you calculate.
Trump is a media celebrity, mostly due to his outrageous comments and behavior. He owns, a whole bunch of buildings and slaps his name on all kinds of products and has turned his name into a brand. There are Trump chocolates, Trump bars, Trump Catering, Trump Golf, Trump The Game (a board game), and Trump clothing. If you can throw a name on it, he’s done it. It’s how he makes $ and gains fame. And it’s fame he’s after.
The Donald has been married several times, in fact, the nickname “The Donald” was given by his first wife, Ivana (of the Czech Republic), after she referred to him as such in an interview. He had 3 children with Ivana: Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. They divorced in 1991 and by 1993 he had married Marla Maples (the ‘other’ woman) and they had a child, Tiffany. Donald and Marla divorced in 1999. In 2005 he married Melania Knauss (of Slovenia) and they have had one child, Barron. He has 7 grandchildren, who will not be listed for brevity’s sake.
Trump has had numerous television shows, including The Apprentice on NBC which was not renewed due various inflammatory comments he has made about various ethnic groups and immigrants. He also has written many books, including many about wealth and how to accumulate it.
Four of Trump’s businesses have filed for bankruptcy and legal trouble has followed him around like a shadow. Again, for brevity’s sake, all suits will not be listed here, however these are the highlights. Even the highlights are a long list.
- 1973 -Trump Management Corporation sued for racial discrimination, settled out of court
- 1979 – Trump was a federal target in a bribery investigation, although charges were never brought. Trump failed to mention this New Jersey casino license application and persuaded state officials to limit his background investigation
- 1981 – Trump was a federal target in a racketeering probe, although charges were never brought
- 1990 – Threatened to sue Janney Montgomery Scott regarding comments made by an analyst about Taj Mahal hotel failing unless the analyst was fired or the statement recanted. The analyst was terminated, but his predictions were accurate. The analyst filed a defamation suit against Trump which was settled out of court.
- 1991 – Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – Trump Taj Mahal
- 1992 – Filed prepackaged Chapter 11 protection plan – Trump Plaza Hotel
- 1994 – Relinquished Trump Princess Yacht and Trump Shuttle and sold off assets to maintain control of other properties and reduce debt
- 2002 – The SEC brought a financial reporting case against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc., alleging that it had committed several “misleading statements in the company’s third-quarter 1999 earnings release”. The matter was settled with the defendant neither admitting nor denying the charge.
- 2004 – Corporate Bankruptcy (Chapter 11) – Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts
- 2009 – Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – Trump Entertainment Resorts
- 2008 – Trump International Hotel in Chicago was unable to sell sufficient units and lender Deutche Bank refused to allow him to lower the prices on the units to initiate sales. Trump invoked a clause in the contract that allowed him to not pay the loan, arguing that the financial crisis was out of his control. Trump then sued stating that his image had been damaged. Both suits were eventually dropped.
- 2008 – Filed a $100 million lawsuit for alleged fraud and civil rights violations against the city of Rancho Palos Verdes in California, over thwarted luxury home development and expansion plans on part of a landslide-prone golf course purchased by Trump in 2002 for $27 million. Eventually both sides compromised and 36 additional homes were built (from the original 20).
- 2011 – Appellate court upholds decision to dismiss a 5 billion dollar lawsuit against author Timothy L. O’Brien who reported in his book that Trump was worth 150-250 million dollars rather than the billions Trump claims. Trump complained that the author’s underestimation of his net worth had cost him business deals and damaged his reputation.
- 2013 – Trump sued Bill Maher for 5 million dollars for making statements on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno when Maher offered 5 million dollars payable to a charity if Trump produced his birth certificate to prove his mother had not mated with an orangutang. The suit was later dropped.
- 2013 – Lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accusing Trump of defrauding more than 5,000 people of 40 million dollars for the opportunity to learn Trump’s real estate investment techniques in a for-profit training program, Trump University. The suit was later dismissed, however allowed only the licensing aspect of the case to proceed.
- 2014 – New York court found Trump liable for not obtaining a license to operate the for-profit investment school, Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, formerly known as Trump University.
- 2014 – Trump University suit claimants in New York, Florida, and California were allowed to continue with the class-action suit.
- 2014 – Trump sued former 2012 Miss Pennsylvania for 5 million dollars alleging that Miss USA 2012 pageant results were rigged. According to her, testimony from the Miss Universe Organization and Ernst & Young revealed that the top 15 finalists were selected by pageant directors regardless of judges’ scores. As part of the settlement, she was not required to retract her original statements.
- 2014 – Model Alexia Palmer filed a civil suit against Trump Model Management alleging that they promised 75,000 dollars annual salary, instead she was only paid 3,380.75 dollars for three years’ work. Suit still in court.
- 2015 – Trump initiated a 100 million dollar lawsuit against Palm Beach County claiming that officials maliciously pressured the FAA to direct air traffic to the Palm Beach Airport over his Mar-A-Lago estate.
- 2015 – Trump brought lawsuit against chef Jose Andres claiming he backed out of a restaurant deal due to his comments regarding Mexican immigrants
- 2015 – Trump brought lawsuit against chef Geoffrey Zakarian who backed out of a restaurant deal due to his comments regarding Mexican immigrants
- Trump Tower and many other properties in New York were constructed from materials sourced from well-known Italian crime families.
The guy has quite the resume. And now we can add President to the list. On January 20th, 2017, Donald J. Trump became the the 45th President of the United States.