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Will US voters hire the Oval Office apprentice?

Published 06/11/2016

Latest politics news
Latest politics news

A Donald Trump victory in the US presidential election would mark a rapid rise to political power for the billionaire tycoon and former reality television star.

The 70-year-old Republican could make history as the oldest person to win the race to the White House, while becoming the first president in more than 60 years without experience as a governor or in congress.

It would be a remarkable career change for the entrepreneur, who achieved a new level of celebrity in 2003 following his starring role in the US version of The Apprentice.

Born into the wealthy family of New York property tycoon Fred Trump, Mr Trump claimed his father gave him a "small loan of a million dollars" to help him start out in business.

He later joined his father's business, helping manage an extensive portfolio of housing projects across New York before taking control of the company in 1971, renaming it the Trump Organisation.

Under his leadership, the firm transformed the rundown Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt and erected the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. Other properties bearing his famous name followed around the world including Trump Towers in Mumbai, Istanbul and the Philippines.

Mr Trump went on to expand his business empire, developing hotels, casinos and moving into the entertainment industry, owning the Miss Universe Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants from 1996 to 2015.

Despite amassing a huge fortune over the years, his companies have also filed four bankruptcies. During the second president debate, Mr Trump admitted using a 916 million-dollar loss claimed in 1995 to avoid paying federal income tax.

Mr Trump's personal life has also hit the headlines over the years following three high-profile marriages.

His first marriage to Czech athlete and model Ivana Zelnickova ended in divorce in 1990. The couple had three children, Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric.

He then married actress Marla Maples in 1993 before they separated in 1997 and divorced in 1999. They have one daughter named Tiffany.

Mr Trump began dating his third wife, Slovenian-born model Melania Knauss, in 1998. The pair married in 2005 and a year later welcomed the arrival of their son, Barron William Trump.

While he formally announced his intention to run for president in June 2015, Mr Trump had previously voiced his political aspirations.

He entered the 2000 race as a Reform Party candidate and reportedly expressed an interest in running for president as early as 1987.

He also led the "birther movement" after repeatedly questioning the birth place of Barack Obama. He finally admitted this year the US president was born in Hawaii but offered no apology.

According to Forbes, Mr Trump's net worth is 3.7 billion dollars, although he has repeatedly insisted he is worth 10 billion.

Press Association

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