Donald Trump’s net worth is $4.5 billion.
Donald Trump is an American businessperson, television personality and candidate for the Republican nomination for the President of the United States in the upcoming 2016 election. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization, a privately owned multinational conglomerate based in the Trump Tower in New York City. (Source: “The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes, last accessed March 16, 2016.)
Forbes ranks Trump as the 113th richest person in the U.S. and the 324th richest person in the world, which is up from 2015, when he was the 405th richest person worldwide. Forbes also ranked him the 72nd most powerful person in 2015 and the 30th highest-paid celebrity in 2013.
Trump has been featured on numerous TIME magazine covers and in 2015, he was runner-up for making the magazine’s cover as the TIME “Person of the Year.”
Trump was born on June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York. His father, Frederick Trump, was a builder and real estate developer who specialized in constructing and operating middle-income apartments.
Donald Trump attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, where he graduated in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
During the summers while attending university, Trump worked for his father’s company, Elizabeth Trump & Son. He joined the company after graduation.
In 1971, Trump’s father gave him control of the company, which he later renamed The Trump Organization. Trump soon became involved in large building projects in Manhattan.
One of Donald Trump’s first successes in real estate involved the Pennsylvania Central Railroad when it entered into bankruptcy in the mid-seventies. Trump obtained an option on the railroad’s yards, which were on the west side of Manhattan. He had originally intended to build apartments on the land, but it proved to be unfeasible due to the poor economic climate at the time. This prompted Trump to promote the land as the location of a city convention, which was selected by city government over two other sites.
Trump also had an option on the Penn Central hotel, “the Commodore,” which was adjacent to Grand Central Station. Trump partnered with Hyatt Hotel Corporation, which did not have a large downtown hotel, to renovate the building. The hotel opened in 1980 and was renamed “The Grand Hyatt.” It became an instant success and catapulted Trump to become New York’s most well-known real estate developer.
In 1977, casino gambling was approved by New Jersey city officials, which immediately interested Trump. In 1980, he bought a piece of property in Atlantic City and in a partnership with Holiday Inn Corporation, Trump opened a $250-million casino in 1984 that was named Harrah’s at Trump Plaza. Trump bought out Holiday Inn shortly thereafter and renamed the casino Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. Later, Trump acquired the largest hotel-casino in the world at the time, the Taj Mahal at Atlantic City, which opened in 1990.
However, not all of Trump’s early career was filled with successes. He’s had some failures that took a hit on his net worth.
In 1988, Trump borrowed $245 million to purchase commuter plane company Eastern Air Shuttle. He renamed it Trump Airlines, but the venture proved to be unprofitable. Trump eventually defaulted on the loan.
In 1991, Trump filed for bankruptcy on the Trump Taj Mahal, which was $3.0 billion in debt after the first year it opened. In 2004, Trump was back in bankruptcy court again for the Trump Taj Mahal and his other casino properties, which had a debt burden of about $1.8 billion. In February of 2016, activist investor Carl Icahn bought the Trump Taj Mahal, which allowed it to exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Donald Trump’s Breakthrough Work and Best-Selling Ventures
Trump Tower is a 58-storey mixed-use skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan and was developed by Trump and Equitable Life Assurance Company. Today, Trump is the sole owner of the building, which is the headquarters of The Trump Organization and his primary residence in a penthouse condominium.
The Trump Organization operates numerous golf courses and resorts in the U.S. and around the world. His latest purchases were in 2014. In February of that year, Trump purchased the Doonbeg golf club in Ireland, and in April of 2014, he purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland.
From 1996 until 2015, Trump owned all or part of the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants. The Miss Universe pageant, founded in 1952, is among the most recognized beauty pageants in the world.
In 2015, NBC and Univision both ended their partnership with the Miss Universe Organization after Trump, on his presidential campaign, made offensive remarks about Mexican people. Trump filed a $500-million lawsuit against Univision on breach of contract and defamation. In September, Trump bought NBC’s stake in the Miss Universe Organization, making him the sole owner, but he sold his interests shortly after.
Thanks to his real estate ventures and off-the-cuff personality, Trump became a celebrity when he became the host and executive producer of the NBC reality show, The Apprentice, which became an instant hit. The success of the show resulted in numerous spinoffs, including The Celebrity Apprentice.
Donald Trump’s wealth increased substantially as a result of the show. Trump has claimed in a Federal Election Commission filing that NBC paid him more than $213 million for the 14 seasons of the show.
Merchandise, Endorsements, and Investment Deals
Trump: The Game
In 1988, Trump partnered with Milton Bradley to create Trump: The Game. The game only sold 800,000 copies, which was less than half the two million copies the company expected to sell. The game was discontinued two years later and Trump said that the poor sales were due to the fact the game may have been “too complicated.” (Source: “Donald Trump’s 13 Biggest Business Failures,” Rolling Stone, March 14, 2016.)
Trump’s son predicted that Trump Mortgage would become the number one home loan lender in the U.S. But then the housing crash and financial crisis happened in 2007 and that was the end of it. According to Trump, the venture was an experimental idea he “intelligently” decided not to follow through with. (Source: “11 Donald Trump Businesses And Where They Are Today,” Business Insider, October 9, 2014.)
Trump launched Trump Steaks for Sharper Image. Trump says the steaks are still in existence and are served at Trump properties around the world.
In 1988, Trump borrowed $245 million to purchase Eastern Air Shuttle and renamed it Trump Airlines. Two years later, the airline was still unprofitable and Trump defaulted on his loan payments, surrendering ownership of the airline to creditors.
Philanthropic Work and Donations
According to Forbes, The Donald J. Trump Foundation has donated $5.5 million to 298 charities between 2009 and 2013. (Source: “When It Comes To Veterans, Donald Trump’s Rhetoric Is Much More Generous Than His Giving Record,” Forbes, December 3, 2015.)
From 1990 to 2009, Trump has personally donated a total of $3.7 million to his foundation, which was founded in 1987. (Source: “Trump: The Least Charitable Billionaire,” The Smoking Gun, April 12, 2011.) Trump has not made any personal contributions since 2009, according to Forbes.
The Trump Foundation has donated to numerous charities, including the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the United Way of New York City, the Tiger Woods Foundation, the William J. Clinton Foundation, and The Police Athletic Way, among many others.
Donald Trump’s Net Worth by Year
Data source: Forbes
If Donald Trump is successful in winning the Republican nomination and then ultimately becoming the president of the United States, he will get a big bump in his wealth. As commander in chief, Trump will receive a salary of $400,000 over four years or eight years if he is re-elected for a second term.
Whenever his time is up as president though, he can expect to make a fortune off speaking in public. George W. Bush reportedly makes between $100,000 and $175,000 for every speech he gives. He has given at least 200 speeches since he left office in 2009. (Source: “Speech inflation: Why Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and others get massive speaking fees,” Fortune, March 17, 2016.) That would equate to about $20.0 million to $35.0 million for the former president.