Brash business billionaire Donald John Trump, commonly referred to as “The Donald,” has become the media’s celebrity political apprentice vying for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The 69-year old is delighting Dems and rattling the GOP by firing off provocative and outrageous soundbites designed to keep his name and face in the news—regardless of the damage to the Republican Party and his own reputation.
He’s been on the cover of almost every news outlet for his inflammatory and controversial remarks, ranging from insults of Mexican immigrants to denouncements of news reporters. Some people consider his candidacy a publicity stunt, but he’s currently the Republican frontrunner, at least according to one poll.
Although most Americans know Trump as a major player in the real estate industry and as the host of The Apprentice (which was canceled by NBC because of his statements), there are still some little-known facts about Trump.
- The Donald has never smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol or done drugs. His older brother, Fred, was an alcoholic for many years and warned Trump to avoid drinking. Fred ultimately died from his addiction.
- When he wakes up and looks in the mirror, he looks different. His remarkable hairline is achieved after blow-drying his hair forward and then combing it backward.
- He almost lost those signature locks and their 50 shades of unclear color. In 2007, Trump entered into a bet with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Both men chose a pro-wrestling representative to fight on their behalf and the billionaire whose representative lost the fight had to shave his head. We all know who won and Trump helped shave McMahon’s head.
- You can find his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2007, Trump became the 2,327th star to receive the honor for his role as producer of NBC’s The Apprentice.
- Trump is the only presidential candidate with his own board game, titled Trump: The Game. The monopoly-like game launched in 1989 and was ultimately discontinued after dismal sales and poor reviews.
- Although Trump doesn’t drink, he launched his own brand of vodka in 2006, self-described as “a superb product and beautifully packaged.” Unfortunately, consumers didn’t agree and production of Trump Vodka was halted in 2011 due to meager sales.
- Trump has always been his boisterous, aggressive self. His parents sent him to the New York Military Academy at age 13 because they wanted the energetic young man to learn discipline. He graduated in 1964 from the Academy and eventually earned a BS in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
- He doesn’t mince words about his fellow Republicans, but he’s even insulted the party’s icon, President Ronald Reagan. In his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Trump wrote, “Only now, nearly seven years later, are people beginning to question whether there’s anything beneath that smile.”
- He’s currently married to Slovenian model Melania Knauss, but he’s also been married to an alternate on the 1968 Czech Olympic Ski Team (Ivana Zelnickova Winklmayr) and actor Marla Maples. He cheated on Winklymayr with Maples, which led to a confrontation between the two women on a ski slope in Aspen, Colo. in 1991.
- Trump was an active member of the “birther” movement that questioned President Obama’s birthplace. He even sent investigators to Obama’s native Hawaii to back up his accusations. When Obama publically released his birth certificate in 2014, Trump referred to at his “so-called birth certificate, or whatever it was.”
- A consistent vocal critic of the Obama administration, he recently reached out to the president and kindly invited him to play golf anytime on any of the golf courses that Trump owns with one stipulation — if Obama ended his term early.
- Although he touts his enormous wealth as a reason he should be elected president, Trump-related companies have filed for corporate bankruptcy on four separate occasions. In 1991, Trump’s Taj Mahal in Atlantic City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In 1992, it was the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City’s turn, and Trump gave up his 49 percent state in the hotel to lenders. Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts filed for Chapter 11 in 2004 and most recently, Trump Entertainment Resorts filed in 2009.
- A germaphobe, Trump dislikes shaking hands. When forced to shake hands, he has an interesting technique of vigorously pulling the other person close into his body.
- Trump didn’t drop his football fantasies after playing varsity football in high school. In 1983, he purchased the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, which he unsuccessfully tried to merge with the National Football League. The USFL soon folded.
- He doesn’t lack in self-confidence. He was quoted in 2004 in The Daily News saying, “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me—consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”
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