Donald Trump's Early Life and Wives Ivana, Marla & Melania
Donald Trump's Road to Success
Donald Trump became famous in the 1970s, and his celebrity status has continued to grow over the past decades. This man is both admired for his ability to make money and despised for his candid and controversial straight-forward approach to business and politics. No matter what your opinion is on Trump the man, the fact is that he knows how to stir people's emotions, which means that no matter what public opinion is of "The Donald" at any particular time, Trump will be profiting one way or another. This is exactly what Trump does best. He makes money. He turns bad luck into great fortune and near-bankruptcy into extreme financial success.
Trump has always been a leader with a yen for the spotlight. But as a youngster, what has evolved into determination and strategy used to be the bossiness of a headstrong kid with a hot temper.. Trump was always the captain when football teams were arranged and the president during class time.
The Influence of Donald's Father, Fred Trump
Donald watched and admired his father, Fred Trump, and saw that he commanded respect through intelligence and business savvy. Fred grew up in Queens, and his own father was an entrepreneur, but died when Fred was 13. Fred told Vanity Fair that his family was so poor that his mother had to take up stitching to keep them going. He began designing and building prefab garages while he was still in high school—a brilliant move in a time when the automobile was becoming a staple in every household, but most homes were built without garages. He sold the units for a major profit for himself and a reasonable price for the customers. At the age of 15, he was too young to sign checks, so he formed a business with his mother called E. Trump & Son and she signed the checks instead.
Fred Trump's creative juices were flowing and carried him through the rest of his life. During the Roaring Twenties, he began building single-family houses; during the Great Depression, he pioneered the concept of supermarkets; and during World War II, he built barracks and garden apartments for the Navy. After the war, he moved into middle-income housing, and by 1999 he was estimated to be worth between 250 and 300 million dollars.
His Ambition for Wealth
Young Trump was lucky that his father was wealthy and a strong role model. However, credit is due to him for taking the ball and running with it. These days it is all too common to cry that he was lucky and, therefore, should not be given credit for his success. However, most children who are born to wealth don't achieve Trump's name recognition and net worth. He has already made a lot more money than his father had ever dreamed of, which says a lot about his work ethic.
Personal Life and Marriages
There never seemed to be a special woman in Trump's life for many years. He was good looking, successful, and determined, all qualifications that attract women in droves, but Trump remained focused on building unique real estate in Manhattan until he met Ivana.
Trump's First Wife: Ivana Marie Zelníčková
Ivana was born Ivana Marie Zelníčková in Czechoslovakia, but managed to make her way to the United States through hard work, determination, and the ability to ski well enough to join the Olympic games. These traits alone made her stand out alongside the spoiled liberal women of New York. Ivana understood what it meant to feel trapped financially and by class. She had the heart to take her opportunities in the United States to infinity. She earned her master's in physical education, but her education did not end there. She also studied decorating and business, which would prove to be useful to the Trump empire.
In the early '70s, Ivana was married to a fellow skier, but the marriage was later reported to be in name only so as to help Ivana attain citizenship and keep the communist leaders off her tail. She met Trump in New York while promoting the Olympic games.
After dating for a few years, Donald and Ivana married in 1977 in a lavish ceremony that was the major society event of the decade. After their wedding, the Trumps were a solid business team, taking on major projects such as the construction of the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Trump Plaza.
Ivana was more than just a beautiful face and a charming personality, she was a powerful force who helped boost Donald to celebrity status. She was vice president of interior design for the Trump Organization and the president of the Trump Castle Hotel and Casino. What's more, Ivana gave birth to three children during this time.
However, even a high-powered woman like Ivana needed a break. In the early 1980s, Ivana informed Donald that she wanted more time with the children. Donald cut his wife loose from her positions in Atlantic City, but asked her to take over as president of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
Trump's Second Wife: Marla Maples
Affair with Marla Maples
It did not take long after Ivana was out of the business picture in Atlantic City that rumors began circulating that a beauty pageant winner was trying to lure Trump into a serious affair. Marla was just 23 years old when she started dating Donald secretly; he was 40. According to sources close to Marla at the time, she was pressuring Trump to leave Ivana and he was merely offering her money and gifts to keep quiet. Things became intense between the two, with Maples threatening to run around with other men and Donald doing all he could to keep the affair under control.
Finally, Donald was cornered to a point where he took Marla with him wherever he went. If he took his family to California, Marla had to go to California and be put up in a hotel close by so that Donald could escape Ivana and the kids to see his mistress. This went on for some time with Marla becoming more and more dissatisfied. In 1991, when Donald and his family were in Aspen with Marla lodged nearby, the situation came to a boil when the two women either accidentally or deliberately, on Marla's part, met on the ski slopes. It was after this nasty confrontation that Ivana filed for divorce. She was greatly humiliated by the stories and the photos of Marla with Donald on the covers of all the gossip magazines.
Trump Divorces Ivana and Marries Marla Maples
After a messy divorce, Trump married Marla and the two had a child they named Tiffany, after Tiffany & Co. The new marriage was not a happy one, and this time in life was perhaps Trump's lowest point. He had been married to a great woman but wanted to have his cake and eat it too, believing that he could have an affair while continuing his marriage to Ivana. Trump was forced to learn a valuable lesson. He lost his reputation as a respectable businessman and was viewed from that point on as a man who would use his wealth to enable himself to cheat on his wife.
If it bothered Trump that his image had been forever damaged, he did not let it show. He just went with the flow and decided to profit on the new image that he was now facing. For some time thereafter, he was notorious. He was a guy who had cheated on his beautiful family with a beauty queen and then divorced his wife to marry this girl. He used this reputation in commercials for insurance companies, and money was coming in faster than ever.
It has been stated in the media that Donald Trump went bankrupt. This is not true, however: During the early '90s, he went into debt by several million. The media loves to elaborate on misfortune more than it likes to give credit where credit is due, and the public considered him cocky and arrogant during his relationship with Marla Maples. However, it's one thing to play arrogant to the cameras and quite another to actually believe that wealth comes easily. Donald Trump put his nose to the grindstone and focused on rebuilding his wealth.
Maria Maples Reflecting on Her Marriage on the Oprah Winfrey Network
Trump Divorces Maples
The couple divorced in 1999. It has been speculated that Marla was seeing another man, Michael Mailer, for about one year before she and Donald divorced. What is known for a fact is that she had met Mailer while performing a bit part in a movie he was directing in 1998, and they announced their engagement several months after her divorce. Unfortunately, Mailer broke off the engagement and married someone else.
After Marla had married Trump, she was set for life. She would walk away from her saga with "The Donald" as a multi-millionairess and the mother of Tiffany, heir to the Donald Trump estate. What's more, she also would walk away as a celebrity; Marla is regularly asked to do television interviews about her relationship with Trump.
Trump Dates Kara Young
Kara Young, a renowned actress and model, dated A.J. Benza soon after divorcing her husband. A.J. was a moderately successful tabloid columnist in the late 1980s-1990s and is best remembered as the host of Mysteries and Scandals. Kara left A.J. soon after meeting Donald Trump. Not only was Donald a powerful and exciting suitor, but he possessed some traits that Kara found fascinating. Unlike many beautiful women who are attracted to modeling, Kara was also interested in business and entrepreneurship, she and Donald could talk for hours about the subject.
It is unclear why the couple did not continue with their relationship. It could be that Kara was too ambitious in her own right to live with Donald, that Donald did not wish to pair himself with a powerful woman, or, even more likely, that Donald had someone else on his mind. Either way, Kara went on to become a respected Fox News correspondent and Trump took his millions and moved on.
Trump's Third Wife: Melania Knauss
Many believe that Trump's third wife, Melania, is nothing more than an extension of Donald's ego. Melania was born in Slovenia as Melanija Knavs, and is a former model known for having more than her fair share of plastic surgery.
People have also speculated that Donald was probably still married to Marla when he began seeing Melania, as it is known that they met and began dating in the late 1990s. As soon as he divorced Marla, Donald began promoting Melania's modeling career and taking her on television shows with him, which resulted in many modeling offers for her. The couple married in 2005, and the wedding received extravagant press coverage as the event seemed to be attempting to recapture the glory and expense of Donald Trump's first marriage to Ivana.
Melania has some formal education but does not seem very interested in applying her talents, unlike Ivana. She and Donald have one son together, which is occupying her time these days. Melania's early life is somewhat of a mystery, and early photos of her are almost impossible to find, but surgeons say she has had cheek implants and at least two nose jobs. Her second nose job is less than 10 years old as there are many photos of her before her final rhinoplasty refinement. The first nose job narrowed the sides but left the tip pinched and bony, with a slight downward turn at the tip. Her new nose is perfect. Perhaps she and Trump's daughter by Ivana share the same surgeon as Ivanka has a very similar looking nose after having several botched nasal surgeries.
Melania Before and After Her Final Nose Job
Lessons Learned From His Relationships
Donald tries to keep his family life somewhat private. Although after his affair with Marla Maples, his reputation became notorious and somewhat negative, it is obvious to those who truly pay attention to Donald that he is old fashioned at heart and regretful of the whole Marla Maples fiasco in his life. No matter how smart, savvy, and moral one is, it is not easy to keep one's head when fame and success reach mammoth proportions. He is human and therefore not perfect, but he does learn from past mistakes.
Trump's 2016 Run for President: Common Criticisms and Why He's Qualified for the Role
After Trump openly called out president Obama for running a secretive administration after promising to be a transparent president, the liberal media went after Trump. They embellished stories about Trump's past life, distracting the conversation from what he was actually saying. Many of his critics still like to point to the financial difficulties he went through during his relationship with Marla Maples. Donald hit a few life snags and actually failed in some of his business ventures, and the media loves to paint as stupid anyone who has ever failed. But everyone who has great success has had many failures along the way. Failing is just part of becoming a winner. For those who have faith, it would appear that Donald was being punished by God for his infidelities, but this was to be Trump's first set of major failures. He bankrupt at least one project and was said to have been wiped out financially. Critics and haters enjoyed gloating and stating that Trump is not a smart man because of this major disaster. However, business-minded entrepreneurs have pointed out that after the major setback, Trump dug in and is now even richer than ever. The comeback is the true sign of a hard working and truly savvy businessman; a "loser" with less drive would have packed it in and just thrown in the towel.
This can all be boiled down to a piece of great advice Trump gives in his books: The ignorant will point to a man's failures and dwell on them, but the successful will realize that everyone has failures in life, and it's what one does about the failure that makes or breaks a person.
More financially successful than ever, Trump has turned his attention to the Presidency, announcing that he is running in 2016. Because the Obama Presidency was so disastrous, maybe what this country needs is the exact opposite. Barack Obama never built anything himself or held down any normal jobs. Many hard-working Americans do not relate to Obama at all. Trump, on the other hand, has had to fight to get permits, gone through the rigors of hiring employees, and created thousands of jobs and many businesses.
Trump has spoken of reducing taxes to give working-class Americans a better chance to provide for themselves and reach goals. The theory is great, and it works: It is what Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s and resulted in a strong economy. But Trump's critics wonder if he has what it takes to make the country run as well as it did under Reagan, who had decades of political experience when he was elected President of the United States.
Many Americans point out that Trump can't possibly be worse than Barack Obama. Obama was elected president based on campaigning that he would end the war, yet not only did he fail to do so, but also the war actually escalated under his administration, with the death toll growing by the thousands. Obama promised to do something about the failing economy, yet the economy did not get better because of his actions, but simply because of the passage of time, which was inevitable. For those who lost everything, it's a little too little, a little too late.
The biggest mark against Trump is that we can't be sure if Trump wants to be president, or if he is just drumming up publicity for other projects he is working on. Trump is a master at keeping the public talking. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: If Trump is running for president, he is the man to vote for, because Trump always puts his all into his projects and comes out ahead. It's about time the United States hire a man with experience, guts, and desire.