- By the age of 3 was earning $200k from family dividends
- Was a millionaire by the age of 8 thanks to family trust funds
- Decades later those trusts would generate $5m per year
- By far the wealthiest President in US history
- Earned $427.4m between 2004 and 2018 for producing “The Apprentice”
Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, the son of millionaire low-income real estate tycoon Fred Trump. Fred Trump and Donald’s grandmother Elizabeth started out in home construction and sales. The company, which was incorporated as Elizabeth Trump & Son in 1927, build large swaths of single-family homes in Queens. The company grew to own and manage more than 27,000 rental units along the East Coast, primarily in New York City’s neighboring boroughs.
Donald briefly attended the Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills, but at 13 was sent to the New York Military Academy. For college he attended Fordham University and The Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics.
After graduating from college, Donald returned to New York where he went to work for his father’s company which would later be known as The Trump Organization. In the 1970s the Trumps earned a fortune owning and renting middle and lower-class housing in New York City’s neighboring boroughs like Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens.
Through shares in his father’s company that were set aside for each child at various ages, Donald Trump was technically a millionaire on paper in 1954 when he was just 8 years old.
In 1976, Fred Trump set up $1 million trust funds for each of his give children and three great-grandchildren. That’s the same as around $5 million in today’s dollars. The trusts paid yearly dividends from profits earned through Elizabeth Trump & Son’s rental income and property sales.
In 1982, Donald and Fred were co-featured on the inaugural Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans, with a combined net worth of $200 million, the same as around $500 million today. After adjusting for inflation, each Trump sibling received around $413 million from Fred Trump through inheritance and dividends by the time he died in 1999.
Keen to move the family empire away from the outer boroughs and into Manhattan, in 1976 with his newly established trust fund and an additional loan from his father, Donald struck out on his own. Over the next few decades, Fred would loan at least $60 million to Donald for various projects, much of which were loans that were never paid back.
One of his big early independent successes was the 1976 renovation of the Commodore Hotel into today’s Grand Hyatt New York. At the time, New York was in the midst of a deep economic depression. In the previous year, the Commodore lost more than $1.5 million on its operations. The Trump Organization, at Donald’s direction, spent $100 million renovating the property over the next four years. It was generally viewed as an extremely successful and positive renovation for the property and city at large. Donald sold his 50% stake in the building to his partners, the Pritzker family, for $142 million in 1996.
In 1982, Donald began construction on what would become a 58-floor skyscraper on Fifth Avenue that today is known as Trump Tower. Trump tower has 238 residential units, three restaurants and several first-floor retail businesses. The top three floors are a triplex unit that has served as Donald’s personal residence in New York City for decades. In 2006, Forbes valued Trump Tower at $318 million, or $288 million after you removed Trump’s $30 million mortgage on the property. In 2015, thanks to flagship luxury store Gucci, the value of the building had roughly doubled to $600 million. Today, with a slight downturn in NYC real estate values and a $100 million mortgage, the property is likely worth $400-$500 million.
In New York City he also owns Trump World Tower, Trump Place Trump International. He previously owned The Plaza Hotel. Many of the hotels and condo complexes that carry the Trump name today are licensing deals where other owners pay the Trump Organization a fee to use the name Trump and frequently to operate the building’s leasing/sales/operations.
In the late 1980s, Donald expanded his portfolio to Atlantic City where he built a number of casino properties. His flagship Trump Taj Mahal Casino opened in 1990. The casinos were consistently money-losing ventures that required financial bailouts from Fred Trump. The Trump casino and resort ventures filed for bankruptcy several times between 1991 and 2009.
Other notable Trump real estate assets today include:
- Trump Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia, which also serves as a boutique hotel
- Trump Doral – a golf club in Miami
- Trump Chicago – a luxury hotel/condo complex
- 40 Wall Street in NYC
- Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, Scotland
- Additional golf courses/resorts in Ireland, Ferry Point, New York, Turnberry, Scotland, Los Angeles, Dubai, Bedminster, New Jersey, among others…
His May 2016 Personal Financial Disclosure showed at least $1.4 billion in assets, $300 million in income from the golf courses and resorts, $100 million in rental income and at least several hundred million in mortgage liabilities.
Books And TV Shows
Donald has authored a number of books including the bestsellers “The Art of the Deal”, “Trump 101: The Way to Success” and “The America We Deserve”.
In 2004, Donald teamed up with Mark Burnett Productions to create a reality show for NBC called “The Apprentice”. The show premiered in January 2004 and eventually spawned several spinoffs and reboots including “The Celebrity Apprentice”. Trump also earned two Emmy Awards for his work on The Apprentice.
Lawsuit declarations would later reveal that Donald earned $60 million per season of The Apprentice from NBC. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.
Relationships And Children
Donald married Ivana Zelnickova (later Ivana Trump) in 1977. Together they had three children; Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. The couple split in 1992 and in 1993 he married his much-publicized mistress, Marla Maples, who gave birth to a daughter, Tiffany. They divorced in 1999. In 2004, Trump married supermodel Melania Knauss, who gave birth to his fifth child, William Barron Trump in 2006.
Donald Trump’s Net Worth – Is It $3 Billion? $9 Billion? $15 Billion?: In June 2015, Donald announced that he was running for President. With his announcement he released an estimate of his personal wealth which pegged his net worth at $8 – 10 billion. The main reason this net worth differs from most generally accepted evaluations of his wealth, has to do with how Donald values his personal brand. In his net worth estimate, Donald valued his personal brand at $3.3 billion. Other analysts value the brand at closer to $50 or $100 million.
As we mentioned previously, in 1982 Donald and his father were listed among the richest Americans with a combined net worth of $200 million, roughly $500 million in today’s dollars. Financial problems and real estate downturns in the 1980s caused Donald to drop off the list of 400 richest Americans throughout much of the 1990s.
As of this writing, his $2 billion net worth makes him roughly the 720th richest person in the world and the 260th richest person in America.
Over the years, Trump’s net worth as reported by Forbes and outlets like Celebrity Net Worth has earned scorn from Trump himself. In 2009, an author named Timothy O’Brien released a book called “TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald” in which he estimated that Donald’s true net worth was not in the billions, but was closer to $150 – $250 million. Trump was furious over the claim and sued O’Brien and his publisher for $5 billion for committing “actual malice” by citing three unnamed sources for his vastly lower net worth estimation. While, Trump’s lawyers asserted that their client’s net worth was “proven conclusively” to be $7 billion, Trump himself was not so confident when under deposition. During the deposition Trump stated:
“My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings… Yes, even my own feelings, as to where the world is, where the world is going, and that can change rapidly from day to day. Then you have a September 11th, and you don’t feel so good about yourself and you don’t feel so good about the world and you don’t feel so good about New York City. Then you have a year later, and the city is as hot as a pistol. Even months after that it was a different feeling. So yeah, even my own feelings affect my value to myself.”
Forbes’ net worth estimate of Donald Trump’s net worth has peaked at $4.5 billion in 2017. Forbes lowered its estimate to $3 billion in 2019. Forbes has reported that the value of Donald’s brand and real estate holdings have declined since he became President due to his personal controversies. Fortune Magazine has claimed the opposite, pegging his net worth at $3.3 billion, an increase of $300 million since the day he was elected.
When Celebrity Net Worth first began tracking Donald’s wealth in 2009, we estimated his fortune at $1.5 billion.
Personal Real Estate Holding
Prior to becoming President and moving to The White House, Donald’s longtime primary residence was a 30,000 square-foot triplex penthouse at the top of his eponymous Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The apartment is famously covered in gold, marble and diamonds with Italian frescos on the ceiling. This condo is worth at least $100 million. Perhaps more like $150-200 million thanks to the luxurious fixtures and notoriety.
Not far away from Trump Tower, Donald owns several units in a building called Trump Park Avenue, overlooking Central Park.
He also owns a 213-acre estate called Seven Springs located in Westchester County, New York. He bought this property in 1995 for $7.5 million. He famously once allowed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to stay on the property in a large Bedouin-style tent when he was in town for the United Nations General Assembly.
In the 1980s, Trump paid $10 million for a 17-acre estate in Florida called Mar-a-Lago which he has referred to as “The Winter White House” during his time as President. Technically he acquired the property over two transactions totaling $10 million, as we’ll explain in a moment.
When Donald teamed up with Mark Burnett to produce “The Apprentice”, NBC offered a deal that was almost too good to be true. Donald’s Apprentice deal entitled him to 50% of all profits generated by the show. In his peak year, 2005, he earned a little under $48 million. Between 2000 and 2018, Donald earned $197.3 million in Apprentice income from NBC.
He then parlayed his newfound fame from “The Apprentice” into an additional $230 million worth of endorsement and licensing deals.
As President, he is entitled to an annual salary of $400,000. He donates all but $1 of that salary to charity.
Donald Trump is an American politician, real-estate developer, author and television personality who has a net worth of $2 billion.
Donald Trump’s net worth is $2 billion as of this writing. He is a real estate developer, author and politician who was elected President of the United States in November 2016.