The life of Donald Trump is one that has been full of success, failures, and more than a few controversies. Known today as a former United States President, we don’t want to fall into the same debate everyone pulls today.
Instead, we are kind of more eager to share that before he was former President Donald Trump, there’s a lot to learn about him as an entrepreneur. As much as you may hate or love him, we have to admit he has several aspects of respect in businesses.
An empire that topped many big ones in the USA and worldwide, goals with international companies and organizations, and much more.
With his interest in business since a young age, he tried it all and decided, like many entrepreneurs today, to forget about the traditional paths and follow more of his entrepreneur dream.
Today, we will be going over his life and what you need to know about a man that made history as part of the list of presidents in the USA.
Who Is Donald Trump? – Following His Early Years
We know he doesn’t really need an introduction, so what we will do is to jump right into his childhood and early years, which most people don’t really know about.
Donald John Trump was the son of Fred Trump, a millionaire real estate tycoon with low income, which will play an important role in the magnate’s life.
Fred Trump and Donald’s grandmother Elizabeth began their careers in home construction and sale years prior to when he was born on June 14, 1946.
The company was incorporated as Elizabeth Trump & Son in 1927, as a built large swathe of single-family homes throughout Queens. The company has since grown to manage and own more than 27,000 rentals along the East Coast, mostly in New York City’s surrounding boroughs.
But the company’s success isn’t only thanks to Fred and his mother; Donald would come to play an important role in this. But first, we need to learn how he got to this point.
Donald attended briefly the Kew-Forest School located in Forest Hills and was then sent to the New York Military Academy at the age of 13. He attended Fordham University and The Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania.
In 1968, he received a degree as an economist.
Donald was a college graduate and returned to New York to work for his father’s business, later known as The Trump Organization, considering its expansion at the time and how it started to be more of a family business.
The Trumps made a fortune renting out middle- and lower-class homes in New York City’s surrounding boroughs, such as Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Queens.
But before going to college and working in the company, Donald Trump was practically a millionaire when he was only eight years because he had shares in his father’s company which were set aside for each of his children at different ages.
During the 70s, when Donald was already working with his father, Fred Trump established trust funds of $1 million in 1976 for each of his three great-grandchildren and five children.
From Elizabeth Trump & Son’s rental income, property sales, and profits, the trusts received yearly dividends.
The family company grew while Donald was helping his father administrate it along with the help of other members involved. However, Fred’s son was the one with more influence in it.
Their real estate business grew exponentially in the 1970s, which led Fred and Donald to be both featured on the 1982 Forbes 400 list as the richest Americans.
At the time, their combined net worth was $200 million, but this is without considering inflation. Today, it would be about $500 million.
After inflation adjustment, each Trump sibling was able to receive $413 million from Fred Trump via inheritance and dividends in 1999 after his death.
Going Further: Growing an Empire
Although Donald gave it his all to his family company alongside his father, he decided that he didn’t want to stop there. Before his father passed away, he took personal decisions that would go to expand the company.
New visions, goals, and ideas came, and he was more than determined to work around them. As a result, he set a new standard of working towards the expansion of the company and taking it out of Manhattan.
As a result, Donald set out to establish his own trust fund in 1976 and borrow money from his father to do so. At the time and during the following decades, Fred would lend Donald at least $60 million that was never repaid.
However, with the loans from his father, he was able to establish many of his projects. One of his major independent successes was un¡¡in 1976 when he renovated the Commodore Hotel to become the Grand Hyatt, New York.
This major project was possible due to the difficulties that are always present, and at the time, New York was going through a severe economic depression. The Commodore had lost over $1.5 million in its previous year as a result.
Donald Trump’s Trump Organization spent $100 million to renovate the property over the next four years. The renovation was viewed positively by the city and property as it brought life to the area and great opportunities for other similar properties.
Although he owned 50% of the building, Donald sold his share to his family members, the Pritzkers, in 1996 for $142 million.
Renovations were one of the first projects he set, but not the only one. He started construction in 1982 on the 58-story skyscraper that would eventually become Trump Tower.
Today, the Trump Tower has 238 residential units and three restaurants. There are also several retail shops on the first floor. For many decades, a triplex unit on the top three floors has been Donald’s New York City residence.
Forbes estimated that Trump Tower was worth $318 million in 2006, or $288 million after Trump paid off his $30 million mortgages. Thanks to Gucci’s flagship luxury store, the building’s value nearly doubled to $600 million in 2015.
Today, the property is worth between $400 and $500 million, despite a slight decline in NYC real estate prices and a $100 million mortgage.
He also owns Trump World Tower and Trump Place Trump International in New York City. The Plaza Hotel was his previous home.
Donald expanded his portfolio to Atlantic City in the 1980s. He built several casino properties. In 1990, he opened his flagship Trump Taj Mahal Casino. However, Fred Trump had to bail out the casinos because they were always losing ventures.
Between 1991 and 2009, Trump’s resort and casino ventures filed for bankruptcy multiple times.
However, Trump has claimed that there’s try and failure when it comes to businesses, and you have to take risks when necessary hoping they will result in great investments.
In real estate, which has been his empire since his father’s company and then his own, has grown over the years and brought lots of money to his bank account and then family.
With this in mind, we can mention some notable Trump real estate assets like the Trump Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is a boutique hotel that also serves as an office.
The Trump Doral, which is a golf club in Miami. The Trump Chicago, a luxury hotel/condo complex, and many other golf courses and condos.
Presidency & Political Party
Reaching the part we all know about, we have Trump’s dream to become a president, which came with most of the controversies associated with his name.
First, Trump is currently a Republican, and it is important to keep in mind his political party to cover what comes with his life in politics. However, despite his current inclination, he has changed parties multiple times in the last three decades.
Trump was registered in 1987 as a Republican. Two years later, in 1989, he became an Independent. Trump ran for the presidency for the Reform platform for the first time in 2000, and he even registered as a Democrat in 2001.
Trump was back in the Republican party by 2009. It was then registered as an Independent in 2011 to be eligible for the next presidential election. To endorse Mitt Roz’s 2012 presidential campaign, he finally returned to the Republican Party and has remained in it ever since.
Following his changes in parties, Trump was officially elected as the Republican nominee for President in 2016 against Democrat Clinton. He won the majority of electoral college votes, beating all media projections and polls.
This was in a remarkable victory on November 8, 2016. Trump won the election by winning 306 electoral votes against Clinton’s 232, despite losing the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes. This victory secured his victory as 45th president of the United States, as we all know.
Trump’s election to the presidency came after one of the most controversial presidential races in American history. This was seen as a rejection of establishment politics from blue-collar and working-class Americans.
In his victory speech, the then-new elected President declared: “I promise to every citizen of this land that I will serve as president for all Americans.” However, his life in the seat would come with too many controversies to even cover here.
Part of Trump’s campaign revolved around his promises and how he spoke about the issues he would address as President, including violence within America, immigration, terrorism, and the appointment of Supreme Court judges.
He said he would build a wall along the border to stop illegal immigration and violence and stop drugs from entering our communities.
He also promised his supporters that he would renegotiate all trade agreements, reduce taxes, and eliminate government regulations, repeal Obamacare, defend Second Amendment gun rights, and “rebuild the depleted army,” asking countries that the U.S. is protecting to “pay their fair share.”
Life as President: Controversies and Work
After his victory against Clinton, Donald Trump was sworn into office as the 45th president in the United States on January 20, 2017, by Chief Justice of United States John Roberts.
Trump took the oath by placing his hand on both the Bible used at Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration as well as his own family Bible which his mother gave him in 1955 when he graduated Sunday school at the Presbyterian church where he was raised.
Trump’s inaugural speech, which was delivered on January 20, sent a populist message to the American people that he would place politics aside. He stated, “It doesn’t matter which party controls our government; what matters is if our government is controlled and managed by the people.”
He continued to paint a grim picture of America’s failures, including families living in poverty, ineffective education systems, crime, drugs, and gangs.
Despite his promises as a president, millions of protesters marched across America and the globe the day after Trump’s inauguration.
Over half a million protesters marched in Washington’s Women’s March to protest Trump’s position on many issues, including immigration and environmental protection.
From here, Trump’s period would come with many downfalls and the controversies mentioned before. Among them, immigration, Supreme Court nominations, travel bans, and withdrawal from international organizations topped the news in several national and international media channels.
Although most Americans found his actions unacceptable, many supported them as part of the Republican party but also as people who “could see the bigger picture” about them.
It is hard for us to talk about those events without entering political drama, so we will just leave it a bit basic to ensure we aren’t falling into a very bad debate.
Donald Trump’s Net Worth: How Much Does He Really Earn?
Finally, reaching a part most people are truly interested in, we have his net worth. But after his father’s death and considering his investments, how much does he actually make?
This is going to be a tough one considering that his fortune has kind of declined over the years. But more importantly, he considers himself more valuable than he actually is.
Donald declared that he would be running for President in June 2015. For this, he had to release a statement with an estimate of his personal net worth. According to the information he provided, it was set at $8-10 billion at the time.
However, this net worth isn’t something we can actually trust since it is very different from other widely accepted assessments of his wealth.
Although his business and the millions he had amassed weren’t just a few, his personal net worth includes his brand as a figure or image.
At the time, Donald estimated that his brand was worth $3.3 billion. Others value the brand closer to $50 million or $100 million, considering that his popularity wasn’t that big even before running for President.
Now, if you go back to what we mentioned about 1982, Donald and his father were among the wealthiest Americans. However, Donald himself was unable to make the top 400 list due to financial problems and real estate declines during the 1980s.
According to some analytics data, his net worth is set at $2 billion, which makes him be included in the list of the richest people in America and the world.
Trump’s fortune has gone over a lot of scrutinies and even been ridiculed for his net over the years, as reported by Forbes and other outlets such as Celebrity Net Worth.
The scrutiny has reached the point of having books published by authors like Timothy O’Brien, who wrote about Donald’s net worth is just $200 million maximum.
This led to Trump suing the author and analyzer who gave three sources supporting his argument and made the magnate back down in his request for $5 billion due to “false claims.”
According to reliable sources like Forbes, in 2017, it was estimated that Donald Trump’s net worth was $4.5 billion. However, it has been in decline since then.
Forbes’ 2019 estimate it was $3 billion and reported that Trump’s brand and real-estate holdings have fallen in value since he was elected President. This is due to his personal scandals and controversies regarding his decisions in the presidency and personal options.
However, despite the claims from Forbes and its reliability, Fortune Magazine claims the contrary, estimating Trump’s net worth at $3.3 billion today and that there was an increase since his election.
In our opinion (and based on our research), we consider his net worth has declined due to popularity and how people are avoiding spending time and investments in his properties.
Personal Real Estate: Added to His Fortune
Although his entire net worth hits the $2 billion as we pretty much englobed everything there, not everything is about cash itself. In fact, Trump’s fortune is mostly based on real estate and investments instead of money itself.
Therefore, we need to make sure to include the real estate properties he owns in this case.
Before he became President, Donald Trump lived in a 3,000 square foot triplex penthouse on Fifth Avenue, New York City. It is known for its lavish gold, marble, and diamond-covered ceiling.
The condo is estimated to be worth at least $100 million in 2021.
Another addition is the fact that he owns units in a building called Trump Park Avenue overlooking Central Park, not far from Trump Tower.
He also owns Seven Springs, a 213-acre estate in Westchester County. He purchased this property in 1995 for $7.5 million. Famously, he once let Moammar Gadhafi, the Libyan dictator, stay on the property in a large Bedouin tent while he was visiting the United Nations, General Assembly.
Trump purchased a 17-acre Florida estate called Mar-a-Lago in the 1980s for $10 million. During his presidency, he called it “The Winter White House.”
The property was technically acquired in two transactions totaling $10 million. There’s much history behind this acquisition, but we are mostly interested in the final price, which has increased to over $20 million today.
Charity Work: Has He Helped Others?
With controversies, the charity also enters this category.
Donald Trump has been a supporter of children’s education and health for a while. However, many people consider that most of the money is actually used for his own causes and needs.
Despite what people believe, we will cover the donations and foundations without any inclination.
First, there’s actually a Donald J. Trump Foundation that was founded in 1988. However, it stopped operating in 2019 due to investigations and the controversies we mentioned in the article.
However, during its 33 years of operating, the company donated to several projects, including battling kids’ cancer.
Other donations and contributions include universities building new dormitories and classrooms to have enough space. However, it is hard to determine how much has been donated, but most sums include over $100,000 per donation.
About 50 different donations have been made over the last three decades and the amount of money given always varies depending on the specific institutions they are given to.
But what happens with Donald Trump being an actual philanthropist? We have to differ in this part.
It is a fact that he isn’t particularly interested in being a full-time giver to others. Still, his actions have shown he does care in particular matters, regardless of whether they are for personal benefits or others. It all depends on how you prefer to see it.
The Best or Worst Example?
If we have to dive into determining whether Trump is a good example in terms of businesses, well, he has done something right if he is a billionaire.
Many of his business ventures have failed over the years, but others have thrived due to his ideas and how he has decided to administrate and manage his company. Although other people have a voice in it, it is mostly his decision whether they are good or not.
But if there’s something we have to give him, he is both a company and a personal brand.
Although there are many doubts about how he rose to power during the elections and became the President, it is a fact he went there and stayed. Hence, there’s no need to discuss the matter further, considering his period ended as well.
People look for positive role models, and this one can be depending on how you see it. But leaving that aside, focus on the businesses he has built over the years and focus on the positive and successful ones. From there, we’re confident you can get something relevant.
We believe entrepreneurs encourage us all to use our time more efficiently, seek out new opportunities, and work with what we already have. Regardless of personal preferences and inclinations, Trump is included here.
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