How Rich Is Former President Donald Trump?
Donald Trump announced on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, that he would be running for re-election in 2024. He is facing competition from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who won re-election in a landslide race, according to FOX News, as recent polling shows the governor as a serious rival for the former president.
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In addition, daughter Ivanka Trump, whom he relied upon heavily while in office, has said she is done with politics and will not join Trump in his bid, according to CNN. So how did the former president make his billions?
Donald Trump is Worth $3.2 Billion
Trump’s net worth is $3.2 billion as of September 2022, with $730 million coming from his social media endeavor Truth Social via the Trump Media and Technology Group, Forbes reported. Trump announced the formation of the platform in October 2021 and launched it in February 2022. As of Nov. 16, 2022, Trump had 4.55 million followers.
Trump had climbed a few steps up Forbes’ billionaire’s list ladder, placing 892 in the world as of November 2022, up from his 1,012 ranking in June of the same year.
Prior to this rebound, Trump had lost roughly half of his net worth during his time in office as president as several organizations stopped doing business with Trump or any of his properties. Forbes listed him with a net worth of $4.5 billion in 2016 and $2.1 billion in 2020.
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Donald Trump’s Start in Business
At the time of his inauguration, Donald Trump was the oldest person to be sworn into the office of the president of the United States. He was 70 years, 220 days old on Jan. 20, 2017. (That title now belongs to President Joe Biden, who was 78 when he was sworn in). Trump beat out a number of contenders to become the Republican nominee for the 2016 presidential election. He went on to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. His term ended on Jan. 20, when Biden began his term as the 46th president.
Trump was born into a wealthy family and inherited about $40 million from his late father, real estate developer Fred Trump. In 1971, Donald Trump became head of what would later be known as The Trump Organization.
Trump’s earnings and inheritance helped him to develop more than 500 companies. The business mogul has held stakes in luxury golf courses, skyscrapers, television shows, casinos, books, merchandise and, now, social media. These endeavors have helped him reach the estimated $3 billion that put him on the Forbes Billionaires List for 2022.
Donald Trump’s Business Successes
In 1980, Trump landed a deal with Hyatt, the city of New York and the unprofitable Commodore Hotel beside the Grand Central Station, earning the right to renovate and rebrand the ailing hotel into the Grand Hyatt. The property became an instant success, making Trump one of the best-known real estate developers in the area.
In 1984, Trump completed construction on the 68-story Trump Tower, which serves as headquarters for The Trump Organization to this day. The building includes a 60-foot waterfall and, on opening day, had five levels of retail stores and restaurants.
Trump has owned a slew of successful businesses and properties, among them Trump Place, a luxury residential community spanning 92 acres. The Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago has a hotel, condos and numerous restaurants and shops. The success of Wollman Rink, a Central Park staple, is arguably credited to Trump.
However, following the storming of the U.S. Capitol, New York City announced that it was severing its business ties with Trump. On Jan. 13, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city would be terminating three contracts with The Trump Organization that would cease its operations of a carousel in Manhattan’s Central Park, two skating rinks and a golf course in the Bronx.
Also in January 2021, the PGA of America stripped Trump’s golf course in Bedminister, New Jersey, of the honor of hosting the 2022 PGA Championship. In Europe, golf organizers said Trump’s club in Turnberry, Scotland, would be out of the running to host The Open Championship “for the foreseeable future.”
Donald Trump’s Failed Businesses
Donald Trump has major business wins to his name, but he also has had some big losses.
In 1988, Trump spent $365 million on a fleet of Boeing 727s, as well as landing facilities in Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C. He also bought the rights to paint his name on a plane. His attempt to build a luxury flying experience under the Trump Shuttle name failed, however, and the company was decommissioned.
In 1990, the banks that backed Trump’s investments provided him with a $65 million bailout in new loans and credit. Trump’s famous Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, went bankrupt in 1991, and Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts went bankrupt in 2004. In 2009, the same company — now called Trump Entertainment Resorts — filed for bankruptcy again.
One of Trump’s highest-profile business failures is Trump University. The unaccredited online college was launched in 2005 and closed down in 2010. Three Trump University lawsuits plagued his 2016 presidential campaign, alleging that Trump University was a scam that cost students tens of thousands of dollars. Trump settled the lawsuits for $25 million, though he did not admit any wrongdoing.
Donald Trump’s Wife and Family
Donald Trump has been married three times. He was with his first wife, Ivana, from 1977 to 1992. The couple had three children together: Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. The three eldest Trump children — along with Ivanka’s husband, real estate investor and developer Jared Kushner — were highly involved in their father’s presidency.
Trump married Marla Maples in December 1993, two months after Maples gave birth to their daughter, Tiffany. The couple divorced in 1999.
Trump has been married to his current wife and former first lady, Melania Trump, who has an estimated net worth of $50 million, since 2005. Melania is the mother of Trump’s youngest son, Barron, who was born in March 2006.
Donald Trump’s Lifestyle
Before moving to the White House, Donald, Melania and Barron Trump lived in a three-floor penthouse in Trump Tower in Manhattan, where they enjoyed an indoor fountain and a door encrusted with diamonds and gold, according to a report from Business Insider.
In October 2019, he filed paperwork to officially move his permanent residence to Florida, which Forbes speculated could have been because of more favorable tax and financial laws in the state.
Among the properties Trump owns is Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, where he spent 25 of his first 100 days in office and currently resides with Melania and Barron. The luxury club is worth $300 million, according to Forbes, and sits on 17 acres of valuable South Florida land. Trump bought the estate — which boasts 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces and three bomb shelters — for the bargain price of $10 million in 1985.
Before having access to Air Force One, Trump shuttled between campaign stops in his $100 million Boeing 757 adorned with gold seatbelts. The fleet of luxury vehicles Trump has owned at one time included a Rolls Royce, an electric blue 1997 Lamborghini Diablo and a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
It isn’t clear what’s in the garage at Mar-a-Lago now, but Trump doesn’t need much more than a golf cart to get around the estate. According to Reader’s Digest, former presidents are only allowed to drive on private property and not on public roads. Instead, they are driven by Secret Service agents who have been “trained in evasive driving maneuvers,” according to the report.
Trump’s 2024 Presidential Run Plans
In February 2022, The Washington Post reported that Trump hinted at running for president again. In June, NBC News reported that Trump was “bored” and leaning toward running again, with his advisors split on whether he should declare his candidacy around July 4 or after the midterm elections in November.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told NBC News via text message that many voters are interested in a Trump candidacy.
“America was strong, prosperous and greatly respected under President Trump, and that’s why he continues to have unprecedented strength through his endorsement record and the demand for his leadership has never been higher,” Budowich said.
Ahead of another presidential bid, the FBI executed a Justice Department-issued search warrant on his Mar-a-Lago, Florida home on Aug. 8, 2022. The search was to recover alleged mishandled White House documents. In response, the former president released a campaign-like video while his daughter, Lara, shared he would make an official announcement any day, according to the New York Post.
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Jami Farkas contributed to the reporting for this article.