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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd gathered as he leaves the stage on Sep. 13 in Clive, Iowa.

Donald J. Trump is a man of many trades. He’s a businessman, a celebrity, a public figure and, most recently, he's a politician.


While Trump primarily built his career in the business realm, he has surfaced as a political outsider in the 2016 election, bringing to the table issues he feels will "Make America Great Again," a slogan deeply embedded within Trump's campaign. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968, and was given control of his father’s business, Elizabeth Trump and Son, in 1971.

Trump went on to rename his father’s business "The Trump Organization." The Trump Organization owns golf courses, hotels, luxury real estate and corporate business buildings across America.

Since first speaking on his political views in 1987, Trump has politically identified as a Republican, a Democrat and an independent. As of today, he labels himself as a Republican.

Business experience

Many see Trump as a business mogul because of his many buildings around the country, his media presence and his many investments; however, his career and business practices have come under scrutiny many times, most recently seen throughout his run for presidency.

According to an analysis from The Washington Post this year, “Trump is a mix of braggadocio, business failure and real success.”

The Economist said this year that, “… [Trump’s] performance has been mediocre compared with the stock market and property in New York.”

Between the years 1991 and 2009, six of Trump’s businesses were declared bankrupt. All six businesses were luxury resorts, hotels and casinos located in Atlantic City and New York.

But Trump does not shy away when it comes to addressing the bankruptcies, having been quoted by ABC News saying that he has used the bankruptcy laws to “pare debt” and that “it’s not personal. It’s just business.”

Trump also began his own education company named Trump University in 2005. The company ran for about five years, serving as a real estate training program.

As of 2015, Forbes listed the amount of the Trump brand at $125 million. His own personal wealth, according to Forbes in 2016, is $3.7 billion. He has also accrued over $200 million in personal debt, although he has never filed for personal bankruptcy.

Other endeavors

Beginning in 1996 and lasting until 2015, Trump owned nearly all of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants.

Airing on CBS until 2002, NBC later aired the pageants until 2015. NBC pulled its business relationship with Trump after his infamous controversial remarks about illegal Mexican immigrants.

From 2003 to 2015, Trump hosted the television show "The Apprentice," which was later changed to "The Celebrity Apprentice." Since the show aired on NBC, Trump’s role on the show was diminished after the same controversial comments that cost him his pageant ownerships.

Trump has also accepted roles in many movies, television shows and has had many television appearances.

The presidential race

With the campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” Trump began his run for the White House in a fashion that only he could run in.

Announcing his run on June 16, 2015, Trump became the Republican Party’s official nominee a year later on July 19, 2016. Trump announced on July 16 that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence would be his running mate.

Trump made immediate waves in his campaign announcement speech, saying that “[Mexico is] sending people that have lots of problems … they’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

This statement, and his insistence in the necessity of building a wall on the border of the United States and Mexico, upset and offended many individuals and caused Trump to lose many corporate sponsorships. But many are in support of a wall between the United States and Mexico, with those who attend his rallies often chanting, "Build a wall, build a wall."

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad endorsed Trump this past May. Both of Iowa’s senators — Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley — endorsed Trump, as well, along with Iowa's Fourth District House Rep. Steve King.

On the policies

When it comes to education, on his website, Trump says he plans to “add an additional federal investment of $20 billion toward school choice.” This would “give states the option to allow these funds to follow the student to the public or private school they attend.”

College education will be reformed with the help of congress to make “a good faith effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt.”

Trump also said college will be “easier to access, pay for and finish.”

On health care, Trump plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, or the Affordable Health Care Act, with the health savings account.

The health savings account would “allow people to purchase insurance across state lines” and “create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality and affordability.”

On the issue of abortion and women's right to choose, Trump said that “I am opposed to abortion except for rape, incest and life of the mother. I oppose the use of government funds to pay for abortions.”

Trump said same-sex marriage should be decided on by the states, not by the government.

Immigration has been a controversial topic during Trump’s campaign. Trump aims to begin building “a … physical wall on the southern border, on day one.” He insists that Mexico will pay for the wall.

The reason for this wall comes back to Trump’s plans to “prioritize the jobs, wages and security of the American people.” This plan will also “establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.”

Looking Ahead

With a tight race, informed voting is key to this election. To learn more about Trump and his policies, visit To learn more about his company visit

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