He's a man who almost needs no introduction — business magnate, real estate developer, reality TV mogul and now politician Donald Trump has set the U.S. presidential race on fire. You might know him from the society pages, or as the man who gamified the business world with his hit show The Apprentice. But check out these unusual facts about The Donald:

  1. Trump has taken the strongest and most talked about stand on the issue of illegal immigration in the presidential race so far. His mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, was a Scottish immigrant, while his paternal grandparents immigrated from Germany.
  2. Donald was groomed to succeed in real estate by his father, NYC developer Fred Trump. He worked at his father's firm while attending the Wharton School at UPenn, then joined the firm after graduation.
  3. Trump was able to avoid the Vietnam War draft thanks to four student deferments and a medical deferment. He's taken a lot of heat over this since slamming John McCain as a phony war hero because he was captured in Vietnam. However, he did attend New York Military Academy, where he was a star athlete and student leader by graduation in 1964.
  4. One of the first real estate deals The Donald became involved with was the overhaul of a foreclosed 1200-unit apartment complex in Cincinnati, circa 1962. With just a $500,000 investment on the $5.7 million property, Elizabeth Trump and Son (the family business) took Swifton Village from 66% to 100% occupancy in two years. It sold for $6.75 million in 1972.
  5. In 1971, Trump moved to Manhattan and really started catching the attention of the public with his bold architectural designs on larger building projects.
  6. By 1973, Trump was in his glory — at just 27 years old, he was running the Trump Management Corporation out of Brooklyn and oversaw the company's 14,000 apartments across Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
  7. In a 1976 article, New York Times columnist Judy Klemerud describes The Donald, now widely mocked for his signature comb over, as such: "He is tall, lean and blond, with dazzling white teeth, and he looks ever so much like Robert Redford. He rides around town in a chauffeured silver Cadillac with his initials, DJT, on the plates. He dates slinky fashion models, belongs to the most elegant clubs and, at only 30 years of age, estimates that he is worth 'more than $200 million.'"
  8. In 1977, The Donald married his first wife Ivana, a model and alternate on the Czech Olympic Ski Team. The following year, they had the first of their three children. Ivana was heavily involved in the family business and was named vice president in charge of design.
  9. Trump seriously embarrassed Edward I. Koch, then mayor of New York, in 1978 by leaking information about a real estate deal to the media. Koch first said the New York Times article reporting that a new convention center would be built on land on which Trump had a right-to-buy was baseless. However, a month later, Trump was vindicated when his site was announced as the one chosen for the project.
  10. The Donald impressed when in 1986, he took over the management of the repairs to the Wollman Rink in Central Park. The project, expected to take 2.5 years, had lagged on for almost six years — Trump completed it within 3 months and came in $750,000 under-budget.
  11. Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in 1988 and it was then that early warning signs of impending doom for his business became apparent. The following year, Trump financed his third casino build primarily with junk bonds in a much-maligned deal that contributed to his eventual business bankruptcy.
  12. By 1991, Trump had accumulated a great deal of debt and was forced to divyie up his wealth, properties and toys among banks to whom he owed billions. TIME magazine reported that American Express got his 282-foot yacht, Citicorp took some retail business and an airline, and Bankers Trust was left with the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan.
  13. The late 1990s fared far better for The Donald, who completed construction on the massive and impressive Trump World Tower across from UN Headquarters in 2001.
  14. In 2005, he sued the writer of a book for citing anonymous sources as saying Donald Trump's net worth ranged from $150 million to $250 million. He claimed that erroneous information caused him to lose out on deals around the globe.
  15. The Trump brand, as developed by The Donald, spans a wide variety of industries including real estate, hospitality, entertainment, mortgages, restaurants and catering, ice cream, online travel, menswear, fragrance, golf, home furnishings, transportation, model management, vodka and more.
  16. How much is Trump really worth? In 2007 court proceedings over the defamation case Trump launched against the book author mentioned above, he told the court, "My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feeling." Today, Forbes puts his real-time net worth as of August 16, 2015 at $4 billion, putting him at #405 on the world's billionaires list. This means Trump is only slightly less wealthy than Elizabeth Holmes ($4.5 billion) and Richard Branson ($4.8 billion). Trump has insisted over the years that his actual net worth should include the value of his brand. In his 2011 book Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again, Trump published a professionally prepared financial statement pegging his own net worth at $7 billion, further feeding the controversy over his true net worth.
  17. Despite Forbes' estimation of his 2015 net worth as $4 billion, on June 16, 2015, Trump released professionally prepared financial statements to the media that stated a net worth of $9 billion. Later that day, he announced that he would seek the Republican presidential nomination and emerged as the wealthiest candidate. He's also recently stated that his annual income is $400 Million.
  18. Trump has dabbled in sports and once served as financial adviser to Mike Tyson. He also purchased the United States Football League's New Jersey Generals in 1983, sold the team, and bought it back before the 1984 season.
  19. Like his father before him, Trump has groomed his children for success in the family business. You might recognize them from appearances on The Apprentice, but his children run a substantial portion of his business.
  20. Trump has received two Emmy nods for his work in television.
  21. Prior to his run for the presidential nod for the Republican party, Trump financially supported both the Democrats and Republicans over a period of two decades. He's currently #1 in the polls for the Republican nod.
Published on: Aug 20, 2015