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The biography for President Trump and past presidents is courtesy of the White House Historical Association.
Donald John Trump was born in Queens, New York, on June 14, 1946. His father, Fred Trump was a successful real estate developer. Trump was educated at the New York Military Academy and the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1971, he took over his father’s real estate company, renaming it the Trump Organization. The business soon became involved in variety of projects, including hotels, resorts, residential and commercial building, casinos, and golf courses. His first of many books was The Art of the Deal, published in 1987. In 2004, he launched the reality television show The Apprentice.
In 2005, Donald Trump married Melania Knauss. They have one son, Barron. Trump also has four adult children from previous marriages: Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany.
During the 2016 primary, Trump defeated more than a dozen rivals to win the Republican nomination. While he lost the popular vote, Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the general election by winning a majority of Electoral College votes. His campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again.”
Without previous elected political experience, President Trump used unconventional methods to communicate his priorities. Most notably, he used the social media platform Twitter as a primary mechanism for direct communication with the American public, other politicians, and the press corps.
As president, he signed a major tax reform bill into law and oversaw a reduction of federal regulations. His protectionist trade policies included tariffs in foreign aluminum, steel, and other products. The Trump administration also renegotiated trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, and South Korea. Other domestic priorities included Supreme Court and federal judiciary appointments, increased military budgets, aggressive border and immigration control, criminal justice reform, and the reduction of prescription drug prices.
In foreign policy, the Trump administration moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and brokered normalization agreements between Israel and a number of countries. In 2018, President Trump attended a summit with Kim Jong Un, marking the first time a sitting president met with a North Korean leader.
In 2018, there was a partial government shutdown as Trump disagreed with Congress over funding for a border wall between the United States and Mexico. The funding lapse lasted thirty-five days before it was resolved.
In 2019, a federal whistleblower filed a complaint that Trump had pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who had served on the board of Bursima Holdings, a natural gas company in Ukraine. Later that year, the House of Representatives impeached President Trump based upon allegations of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. In 2020, the Senate acquitted Trump on both articles of impeachment.
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in the United States on January 20, 2020. The remainder of Trump’s presidency was consumed with the coronavirus pandemic. Critics argued that Trump’s response to the pandemic was delayed and did not sufficiently encourage public health practices to reduce the spread of the virus. However, the Trump administration’s program “Operation Warp Speed” assisted in the private sector development of two approved vaccines. Nonetheless, by the time Trump left office, more than 400,000 Americans had died of COVID-19.
Trump lost reelection to Democratic candidate Joe Biden, but publicly claimed widespread voter fraud had affected the outcome. Supporters of President Trump traveled to Washington, D.C. for a “Save America” rally on January 6, 2021. Trump spoke to the large crowd on the Ellipse near the White House and encouraged attendees to protest the counting of the Electoral College votes in Congress. The rally turned violent when the president’s supporters overwhelmed law enforcement, breaching the United States Capitol and disrupting the vote count. Five people died as a result of the violence, and the Capitol complex suffered millions of dollars in damage.
On January 13, 2021, Trump’s actions resulted in the House of Representatives approving another article of impeachment: the incitement of insurrection. He is the only president in American history to be impeached twice by Congress.
Learn more about Donald Trump’s spouse, Melania Trump.