Trump: Gunning for Oval Office
News Desk, bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-11-08 14:10:18.0 BdST Updated: 2016-11-09 16:19:40.0 BdST
A controversial billionaire, Donald Trump, was considered an unlikely nominee for the Republican presidential candidate.
But, having won trumped many seasoned politicians for the nomination, Trump has seeking to disprove pundits and win Tuesday's Presidential election, the campaign for which has been unusually bitter.
Donald Trump was born in Queens, New York on June 14, 1946, the fourth of the five children born to Mary Anne McLeod and New York real estate magnate Fred Trump.
He attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and began work in real estate with “a small loan of $1 million dollars” from his father, before joining the family company.
Trump took control of the company in 1971.
He shifted business from selling residential units in Brooklyn and Queens to more glamorous projects in Manhattan, like the transformation of the Commodore Hotel to the Grand Hyatt and the construction of the 68-storey Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
Other properties bearing Trump’s name followed, including Trump Towers in Mumbai, Istanbul and Manila.
Trump has tried to expand into developing hotels and casinos. The endeavour has resulted in the business filing for bankruptcy four times.
From 1996 to 2015 Trump owned the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants and since 2003 has been best known for his reality television show ‘The Apprentice’, where contestants competed for a management position in the Trump organisation.
‘The Apprentice’ ran 14 seasons, during which Trump was reportedly paid $213 million by producers at the NBC. The Trump brand also adorns merchandise ranging from men’s wear to bottled water.
Forbes magazine estimates Trump’s net worth at $3.7 billion. Trump has repeatedly insisted he is worth $10 billion.
The husband and father
Trump has been married thrice. His first marriage, to Czech athlete and model Ivana Zelnickova led to a 1990 divorce heavily covered by tabloids.
The couple had three children – Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric – who have helped their father run the family business and have played important roles in his campaign.
Trump married actress Marla Maples in 1993 and divorced her in 1999. They had one daughter, Tiffany.
Trump married his current wife, model Melania Knauss in 2005. They have one son, Barron.
The ‘outsider’ politician
Trump had long expressed an interest in running for President, and even entered the race in 2000 as a candidate for the Reform Party.
In 2008, he became a vocal proponent of the ‘birther’ movement, which claimed US President Barack Obama had been born outside the US and thus did not qualify for the presidency.
The accusation was thoroughly debunked and Trump says he has accepted it. He is yet to apologise for encouraging a movement many have called racist.
Trump threatened to join the race in 2012 as a third-party candidate in protest against presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
He was later convinced by Romney and others in the Republican Party not to run.
In June 2015, Trump formally announced his presidential campaign.
"We need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that," he said.
Trump claimed he would not need to raise funds or placate special interests and would be an outsider candidate.
Trump has run a controversial campaign under his signature slogan of “Make America Great Again”.
Trump has promised to revitalise the American economy if elected, build a border wall on the US-Mexico border to crack down on illegal immigration and temporarily ban Muslim immigrants “until we can figure out what is going on.”
Opponents have branded him xenophobic and dangerous.
But Trump’s support, especially among the white working class, has raised him past notable Republican rivals Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.
Several women accused him of sexual assault, which he has stridently denied, upsetting female voters.
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