Complex Made Simple

Donald Trump: Building an empire

US presidential candidate Donald Trump is controversial, to say the least.

But, at the same time, he is also an immensely successful business mogul, whose long journey is worth exploring and may yield clues to understanding who he is today.

Here are some defining moments in Trump’s personal and professional life.

An old image showing young Donald Trump in military uniform.(Image: Wikimedia)

Donald Trump was born in 1946 in the Jamaica Estates to Friedrich Trump, of German origin, and Mary Trump, of Scottish origin.

He attended the Kew-Forest School, where his father, who by then was a wealthy real estate developer, served as a member on the Board of Trustees.

Trump reportedly left school at the age of 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy. (Image: Wikimedia)

University of Pennsylvania. (Image: Alamy)

In 1964, Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years, before transferring to Wharton school of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, from where he graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor’s of Science and Economics.

Throughout his years of education, Trump also worked at the family company, Elizabeth Trump & Sons, which would later be named “The Trump Organization”. (University of Pennsylvania. Image: Alamy)

(Image: Alamy)

Trump officially took control of Elizabeth Trump & Sons in 1971, just three years after graduating from college. One of the first moves he made was changing its name to The Trump Organization. (Image: Reuters)


Understand Trump’s journey to the White House from day one, click here


Ivana and donald trump

Trump married Czech model Ivana Marie Zelníčková from 1977 – 1992. (Image: Reuters)

Alamy Grand Hyatt hotel Manhattan for web

One of Trump’s first big deals in Manhattan was building the Grand Hyatt Hotel in 1978. The project helped bring him to public prominence. (Image: Alamy)

Alamy Trump World Tower Manhattan for web

Trump completed developing the Trump Tower in 1983. The 58-story edifice is located in Midtown Manhattan and forms the headquarters of The Trump Organization.

Trump Tower was also the set location for his NBC reality TV show, The Apprentice. (Image: Alamy)

Amazin The Art of the Deal for web

Trump published his first book in 1987. (Image: Amazon)


Would Arab vote for Trump of Clinton, click here to find out


Amazon Trump The Game for web

Tump mass produces this board game in 1989. It is no longer available today as it has been discontinued by the manufacturer, according to Amazon. (Image: Amazon)

Time cover Donald trump 1989 for web

Trump appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in 1989 – the first of several appearances to follow over the years. (Image: TIME)

Alamy Dollars for web

Trump announced he is $900 million in debt and facing bankruptcy in 1991. (Image: Alamy)

Reuters Alicia Machado for web

Trump bought Miss Universe Organization in 1996, the year when Alicia Machado, a beauty queen from Venezuela, was elected Miss Universe. Trump also founded Trump Model Management in 1999. (Image: Reuters)

alamy Reform Party for web

Trump identified with the Reform Party in 1999. He announced the creation of an exploratory committee to run for the nomination of the Reform Party, but did not follow through. (Image: Alamy)

Alamy Democratic Party for web

Trump identified with the Democratic Party in 2001. (Image: Alamy)

Screenshot The Apprentice for web

Trump hosted NBC’s The Apprentice in 2004. (Image: Screenshot of The Apprentice)

Reuters Melania Trump for web

Trump married Melania Knauss in 2005. They are still married today. (Image: Reuters)

Trump University for web

Opened Trump University in 2005. The University was later shut down. (Image: Trump University)

Reuters Trump hollywood star for web

Trump received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, for his TV show, The Apprentice, in 2007. A Trump opposer later smashed the star in 2016. (Image: Reuters)

Reuters Trump Chicago tower for web

Trump Tower was opened in Chicago in 2009. (Image: Reuters)

Alamy republican party for web

Trump identified with the Republican Party in 2009. (Image: Alamy)

Alamy Trump 500 companies or web

Today, Donald Trump is the chief executive of more than 500 companies, but is he the next President of the United States? Let us know what you think.  (Image: Alamy)