Grateful American® Foundation

Written by Ed Lengel

Donald J. Trump’s Children

Donald John Trump was a well-known media personality long before he became the forty-fifth president from 2017 to 2021. Born in New York City in 1946, he attended Fordham University; then Wharton from which he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics. Afterwards, he went to work for Trump Management, which his father, Fred, founded; within a decade, Donald was closing major real estate deals in New York City and beyond.

Practically a household name by the 1980s, Trump pursued a dizzying variety of business ventures–successful and not—over the next three decades. He also wrote The Art of the Deal (1987) and, 1997s The Art of the Comeback; from 2003 on, he co-produced and hosted a popular reality show, The Apprentice.

Trump had also–occasionally spoken of going into politics; he even changed his party affiliation several times, but until 2015, his presidential musings we were dissed. Then—miraculously—and against almost all the pols and predictions, Trump he defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential election of 2016.

Ivana Zelníčková, Marla Maples, and Melania Knauss

During his four years in office, Trump’s family life was scrutinized by the media. He had been married three times: to Ivana Zelníčková in 1977; Marla Maples in 1993; and—now—to Melania Knauss—the First Lady– in 2005; the marriages to Ivana and Maples ended in divorce, but all together the unions produced five children.

Donald Trump, Jr.

Born in New York City on December 31, 1977, and the oldest child of Donald Trump and Ivana Zelníčková, he grew up in the posh atmosphere of his father’s New York City empire. His mother, a model born in what was then Czechoslovakia, called herself a “very traditional European wife” and kept the couple’s three children out of the media spotlight—partly, as the parents said, to protect them from the possibility of getting kidnapped.

When he was thirteen, a news report indicated that Donald, Jr., had “impeccable manners,” with one insider claiming, that “I first saw him reading The Wall Street Journal when he was 10. He had it tucked under his arm when he got on the plane, along with his Nintendo.” Donald Jr. would claim that he preferred summering in the mountains of Bohemia with his mother’s family, to being in Manhattan. His parents divorced in 1992.[1]

For a time after the divorce, Donald Trump, Jr., and his two younger siblings avoided contact with their father, announcing upon Donald Trump’s remarriage to Marla Maples in 1993: “In discussions among ourselves, we decided to stay in Aspen with our mother and grandmother”, rather than attend the wedding. After attending elite boarding schools through his teenage years, Donald Trump, Jr., enrolled in Wharton, graduated in 2000 with a B.S. in economics, took a brief hiatus in Colorado, and signed on to work for his father; he has been there ever since. During Trump’s presidency, Don Jr. managed Trump’s business ventures; became an outspoken Republican activist, and a supporter of his father’s political activities.[2]

Ivanka Trump

Born on Oct. 30, 1981 in New York City as Ivana Marie Trump, Ivanka, as she was known, went to boarding schools in New York City and Connecticut; early on, she mimicked her mother’s interest in modeling, and took the barbs that followed; one report from 1992 called her a “pint-sized fashion victim” because of her mismatched clothing. Her parents were not shy about throwing young Ivanka into the world of show business; through her teen years she often appeared in the tabloids, which revealed her associations with the popular movie stars. By 1995 she was already doing fashion shoots, and speaking about a career in modeling, and in 1997 she was a fixture in fashion magazines.[3]

She graduated from Wharton in 2004, with a B.S in economics; joined the Trump Organization, converted to Judaism, and married Jared Kushner in 2009—with whom she has three children.

She continues to pursue a career in business, and champion her father’s political activities—and legacy.

Eric Frederick Trump

The youngest child of Donald and Ivana Trump was born in New York City on January 6, 1984. Like his older siblings, he attended private boarding schools; and although his parents’ marriage ended acrimoniously, he grew up in the privileged circumstances created by his father’s business success. Eric Trump’s eighth birthday party in New York’s Plaza Hotel was a spectacular affair covered in contemporary tabloids; later, he would remember building a real estate empire out of Lego on the floor of his father’s office, while Donald Trump made deals on the phone. From the time he became a teenager, Eric Trump was certain he wanted to enter the family business, and work in real estate.[4]

Eric graduated from Georgetown in 2006 with honors, and per the family tradition, he joined the family company, and created the Eric Trump Foundation to provide funding for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, but the arrangement has created controversy.

Besides engaging his brother in big game hunting in Africa, Eric has vociferously supported his father’s politics. He married Lara Lea Yunaska in 2014; the couple has two children.[5]

Tiffany Ariana Trump

The only child of–Donald Trump and Marla Maples, an actress and television producer–was born on Oct. 13, 1993 in West Palm Beach, Florida—two months before her parents were married. She was given her first name in celebration of her father’s business deal with the jeweler, Tiffany & Company. Born at the height of her father’s media celebrity, and the product of a much-covered romantic affair, Tiffany Trump has been in the spotlight since she was a toddler. The coverage intensified when her parents became estranged when Tiffany was only four years old, and subsequently divorced.[6]

Raised by her mother, Tiffany Trump attended private school in Calabasas, California, before going to the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated with a degree in sociology in 2016. She then went to the Georgetown University Law Center and got her law degree in 2020. Not as active in business or politics as her older half-siblings, Tiffany Trump has nevertheless supported the Republican Party, and her father’s political activities.[7]

Barron William Trump

Born on March 20, 2006 in New York City, the fifth child of Donald Trump–and his only–with third wife Melania Knauss, Barron Trump has—rather surprisingly—managed to stay largely out of the media spotlight. The first boy to live in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr., he attended St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, during his father’s term in office. Like his older half-siblings, he has grown up in privileged circumstances; but also like them, he has been raised according to strict standards of discipline and high expectations. Among other things, he prefers to dress in a suit; like his father, Baron enjoys golf, but his favorite sport is soccer, which he follows and plays.[8]

[1] Daily News, Feb. 11, 1990, Sept. 12, 1991; New York Times, Mar. 18, 2017.
[2] Associated Press, Dec. 21, 1993.
[3] Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 2, 1992; Chicago Tribune, Apr. 13, 1995; New York Times, Aug. 17, 1997.
[4] AOL, June 17, 2011,; Daily News, Jan. 11, 1991.
[5] Huffington Post, Mar. 13, 2012.
[6] Press-Tribune, June 30, 1993; New York Times, May 4, 1997.
[7] Time, July 16, 2016,
[8] Town & Country, Oct. 14, 2020,;,; Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2017.

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