18 Interesting Facts About Donald Trump That You Should Know
Businessman, television personality, author, and now the Republican Party nominee for this year’s President of the United States, Donald Trump has managed to astound and astonish the world at large. He is also one of the richest people in the world and is listed in Forbes among the world’s wealthiest 500 billionaires. His political statements and views, along with his personal life and his businesses have always received considerable media attention. Now that he is running for the president, here are some interesting facts about Donald Trump that you might not have known before.
1. Trump has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame which he received for the reality TV show The Apprentice.
Apart from being a businessman and politician, Trump is also a television personality. He produced, participated and appeared as cameos in many films and television shows. In 2003, he also became the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show called The Apprentice and later acted as host for another similar show called The Celebrity Apprentice. He hosted The Apprentice for 14 seasons, earning as much as $1 million per episode, and in 2007 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to television.(source)
2. In 1999, Trump proposed a one-time tax of 14.25% on individuals with networth $10 million or more and claimed that it would raise $5.7 trillion which can wipe out the national debt.
Trump said that according to his calculations, his tax plan would burden only 1 percent of Americans who control 90 percent of the wealth, leaving the other 99 percent of the people with deep reductions on their federal income taxes. He also said that completely paying off national debt would save $200 billion a year in interest payments and that depositing $100 million annually in the Social Security trust fund would generate $3 trillion over the next 30 years.(source)
3. Trump’s hair is real. He gets his haircuts from his wife Melania.
Trump has many attention-grabbing traits, and his hairstyle is one among them. Apparently, many people have asked him about his hair and what he does to it. He told Playboy that all he does is take a shower, wash his hair, read the newspaper while it dries, comb it and spray it. He has stated that the reason his hair looks so neat all the time is because he doesn’t expose himself to outside environment, as he spends most of his time in his limousine, private jet, helicopter, or his private club, and that the only time he is outside is when he plays golf. And according to what he said to Playboy, his wife gives him his haircuts.(source)
4. Trump was a registered Democrat between 2001 and 2009.
Trump has been thinking about being in the politics since as far back as 1987, when he enrolled as a Republican with the Board of Elections. In 1999, he changed to the Independence Party because he was thinking of running for President as a Reform Party candidate in 2000. Again in August 2001, he made another switch to being a Democrat, because he has many friends who are Democrats and that most of the politicians he knew are Democrats. In 2009, he again switched back to being a Republican stating that Republican Party is where his heart is.(source)
5. SPY Magazine once sent some of the world’s richest people checks of 13 cents to see who would cash them. The only people to do so were an arms dealer and Donald Trump.
Published between the years 1986 and 1998, Spy Magazine was a satirical magazine, whose writers had an interesting idea to prank the rich in 1990. So they created a fully funded and incorporated company called National Refund Clearinghouse and opened a checking account. Then they sent a check of $1.11 to 58 well-known people such as Cher, Henry Kissinger and Donald Trump. Of the 58, only 26 cashed the check. They repeated the experiment with $0.64 to these 26 people, and only 13 of them cashed. Then they sent these 13 people checks for $0.13, and this time it was only 2 people – a Saudi Arabian arms dealer called Adnan Khashoggi and, of course, Donald Trump.(source)
6. Trump once tried to trademark the phrase “You’re fired!”
Trump is closely associated with a reality TV show called The Apprentice in which the contestants take part in challenges in order to get a chance to work under American billionaires. In the show, Trump dismisses some of the contestants using the phrase “You’re fired!”, which he intended to use in his games and casinos. The game he released called “Trump, the Game” has a tag that says “I’m back and you’re fired!” According to US Patent and Trademark Office website, he even filed a trademark application for the phrase.
7. Trump is one of the least charitable billionaires in the world and donated $3.7 million to his own charity over a period of 20 years, which is less than what WWE donated to his charity in 2007 alone.
The World Wrestling Entertainment gave a total of $5 million to Trump’s foundation, $4 million for his help in promoting that year’s WrestleMania festivities in 2007 and $1 million for when he was going to buy part of the WWE empire in 2009. Compared to many other billionaire tycoons such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or Michael Bloomberg, Trump’s contributions to charity are unbelievably small. Bloomberg’s contributions in 2008 alone totaled $235 million, Larry Ellison’s $73.2 million, and Johnny Carson left his charitable foundation $156 million.(source)
8. Donald Trump tried to sue an author for $5,000,000,000 because he called Trump a millionaire instead of a billionaire.
In 2009, Trump filed a lawsuit against the author of the book TrumpNation: The Art of Being Donald, Timothy O’Brien, for $5 million. In the book the author cited three unnamed sources who estimated Trump’s net worth between $150 million and $250 million. However, the court ruled that Trump was not able to prove that the author committed “actual malice” and dismissed the defamation lawsuit. According to Trump’s lawyers, his own estimation has been “proven conclusively” to exceed $7 billion, yet during a deposition, he himself said that his sense of financial worth depends on his day-to-day feelings.(source)
9. Trump dislikes shaking hands with other people and is a self-professed germophobe.
It isn’t just the hands of other people that Trump doesn’t want to touch, but everything that is touched or used by anyone else. He doesn’t even like to push the ground floor elevator button because it would have been pushed my many people. And apparently, he specifically avoids touching the hands of teachers because they are very likely to have been in physical contact with kids.(source)
10. The character Biff Tannen from the Back to the Future trilogy was based on Donald Trump.
In the trilogy, Biff Tannen, portrayed by actor Thomas F. Wilson, is a towering, violent and selfish bully who intimidates and cheats to get what he wants. Recently, after renewed interest in Back to the Future II, numerous commentators noted similarities between the older version of Biff Tannen and Donald Trump. When the writer Bob Gale was asked about these similarities, he replied that they were intentional and that the character was indeed based on Donald Trump, who was already well-known in the late 1980s for his real estate business.(source)
11. In 1990, Trump threatened to sue the stock broker firm Janney Montgomery Scott after an analyst said Trump Taj Mahal wouldn’t survive financially. The analyst was fired for it and later the same year Taj Mahal declared bankruptcy.
Marvin Roffman, a veteran securities analyst focused on the gaming industry in Atlantic City, told a reporter from the Wall Street Journal that the lavish and financially shaky nature of Trump’s third casino Trump Taj Mahal would fail. In reaction to that Trump threatened to sue his employer and demanded that Roffman be fired. Roffman stood by his assessment and three days after the the Journal was out he was fired. Roffman later filed a lawsuit against Trump for using intimidation and forceful warnings of litigation, and had a clear victory.(source)
12. The companies owned by Trump filed for bankruptcy four different times.
All the four bankruptcies filed were related to over-leveraged Trump’s hotel and casino properties in Atlantic City operated under the name Trump Entertainment Resorts, during the years 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009. Despite these four bankruptcies, Trump emerged a billionaire, perhaps owing to the fact that he never filed personal bankruptcy. Instead, it was the corporations, limited partnerships and LLCs in which he had ownership interests or the companies that had his name attached that filed for bankruptcy.
13. Trump played a cameo in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
In the movie, there is a scene in which the character Kevin McCallister walks around the Plaza Hotel and then asks Trump where the front desk was. Trump responds to the question saying “Down the hall, to the left,” after which Kevin thanks him and walks off. The Plaza Hotel’s lobby in which one of the scenes takes place originally has Italian Ravenna tiled floors which were entirely covered with carpets. So, during the filming of the scene when Kevin slides down the floor into the elevator, the filmmakers asked Trump if they could remove the carpet. When the carpet was removed, Trump liked the tiles so much that he never had the carpet back again.(1, 2)
14. Donald Trump once tried to stop the building of a windfarm in Scotland because it would ruin the view from his golf resort.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to use his financial powers to oppose a wind turbine project because it ruins the view from his £750 million golf resort which also overlooks the North Sea. He even went on to threaten to pause the development of his second 18-hole golf course at the resort because the windfarm would decrease the financial viability of his resort. However, the Scottish ministers have chosen to ignore Trump’s threats and have given a green signal to the experimental windfarm.(source)
15. In 2012, Trump banned Glenfiddich whiskey company because it sponsored the Top Scot award, which was given to his arch critic and neighbor, Michael Forbes, who refused to vacate his land to make way for Trump’s golf course.
Michael Forbes, the closest resident to Trump’s golf course, won the Top Scot award after a public vote, beating the Olympic tennis gold medalist Andy Murray. Trump criticized it and said that he has banned every brand of whiskey sold by William Grant & Sons from his resorts and hotels because their leading brand Glenfiddich sponsored the ceremony. He even went on to say that the decision was an insult to both Andy Murray and Scotland itself, and that the distillers in question are jealous of his own inhouse single malt whiskey brand. Addressing Trump’s allegation that the voting was fixed, the company said that it had nothing to do with the voting and that Glenfiddich has been sponsoring for 15 years now.(source)
16. Between 1996 and 2015, Trump owned part or all of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants.
When Trump sold his interests, Trump owned the beauty pageants and when he was dissatisfied how CBS scheduled his pageants he took both Miss Universe and Miss USA to NBC in 2002. Trump was also involved in some controversies regarding the pageants. When the 2006 winner of Miss USA was tested positive for cocaine, he let her keep the crown for the sake of giving her a second chance.
In 2015, NBC and Univision ended their business with Miss Universe organization because of his negative speech about Mexican immigrants in his presidential campaign. Trump later filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, alleging breach of contract and defamation. Later that year in September, he bought NBC’s stake and became the sole owner of Miss Universe Organization, but sold his interests to WME/IMG.(source)
17. Atlantic City, New Jersey, once tried to give the home of a retired woman to Trump using eminent domain so that he could build a parking lot for limousine. They later lost in court.
The husband of the retired homeowner of Atlantic City, Vera Coking, bought the property at 127 South Columbia Place as a summertime retreat for $20,000 in 1961. Before Trump, she declined the offer of $1 million by a magazine publisher who wanted to build the Penthouse Boardwalk Hotel and Casino in the 1970s. In 1993, Donald Trump bought several lots around his Atlantic City casino and hotel in order to build a parking lot for limousines. But, Cooking refused to sell her property to him and was threatened the city using the power of eminent domain, which allows the government to take private property for public use. She fought the local authority with the help of Institute of Justice and was able to win the case.(source)
18. Trump has been sued 3,500 times by his business partners, contractors, clients, employees and banks.
Among the 3,500 legal cases that Donald Trump was involved in over the last three decades, 1,900 were against Trump or one of his companies, in 1,450 of them they were defendants, 150 of them were about bankruptcy and other cases. Also, Trump was named in at least 169 lawsuits in the federal court. There were also several other cases in a court in Florida since 1983. The topics of these cases include contract disputes, defamation claims, allegations of sexual harassment and rape, and tax disputes, with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance obtaining tax liens against his properties for nonpayment of taxes.