Former President Donald Trump isn’t shy about his business acumen or his vast riches — but how wealthy is he?
Since Trump took the presidency in January 2017, subsequently seeing two impeachments and riots on Capitol Hill, his net worth fell from $3.7 billion to $2.4 billion according to a Forbes estimate from April 2021 — the most recent month for which data is available.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which estimates Trump’s net worth to be approximately $2.33 billion, says his net worth dropped by approximately $700 million in his last year of presidency.
In his first year in office, Trump’s wealth plummeted to $3.1 billion, and then declined to $2.5 billion in 2020. He lost an additional $700 million following the Capitol Hill riots and his impeachments, when several organizations stopped doing business with Trump or any of his properties.
The 2020 dip in Trump’s overall net worth was largely due to the coronavirus and the impact it has had on industries in which he holds his biggest assets. Values for office buildings and hotels have plummeted. His properties in Washington, D.C. and Chicago appear to be underwater, while Doral, his golf resort in Miami, has lost 80% of its value in a year, Forbes reported.
Additionally, the Capitol Hill riots resulted in Trump’s golf course losing the right to host the PGA championship tour in 2022, which will undoubtedly lead to lost marketing opportunities and reduced profits for the course. In the days following the riots, Shopify closed Trump’s online stores.
What’s more, at least $590 million in loans will come due in the next four years, Bloomberg reports, which could further impact the billionaire’s bottom line. Still, Trump retains some valuable assets, including garages in New York City, the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida and three nearby homes.
However, as the economy faces recovery with widespread distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and travel picks up the pace, Trump’s resort properties may begin to recover. But an article in Forbes points out that if Trump had worked the stock market properly, selling his portfolio upon taking the presidency, paying capital gains tax, and investing in S&P 500 mutual funds, he might be doing better right now.
In 2020, in spite of his financial losses, Trump made number 1,001 on the Forbes billionaires list. April 2021 saw him knocked down to 1,299 on the list while other billionaires enjoyed gains from a bullish market.
A businessman and former reality television star, Trump’s path to wealth was very different than that of your typical politician. Read on for a better understanding of how Trump built his fortune.
Donald Trump’s Net Worth
When he was sworn into his presidency, Donald Trump was the oldest person to be sworn in — he was 70 years, 220 days old on Jan. 20, 2017. (That title now belongs to 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 President Joe 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 title have since helped him develop more than 500 companies. The business mogul has his stake in luxury golf courses, skyscrapers, television shows, casinos, books, merchandise and more. These endeavors have helped him reach the estimated $2.4 billion that he’s worth today.
Donald Trump’s Businesses
The only thing bigger than Trump’s personality is his business acumen. He 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. In 1980, that hotel 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, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced 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, skating rinks and a golf course in the Bronx, Reuters reported.
Donald Trump’s Failed Businesses
Donald Trump has major business wins to his name, but he also has 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 first 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.
Donald Trump’s Lifestyle
Donald Trump sometimes lives in a three-floor penthouse in Trump Tower with his wife, Melania, and son Barron. The luxuries the family enjoys at Trump Tower include an indoor fountain and a door encrusted with diamonds and gold, Business Insider reported.
Among Trump’s other notable properties is Mar-a-Lago, where he spent 25 of his first 100 days in office. He moved back to the estate after his term as president ended, CNN reported. The luxury club is worth $180 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. His fleet of luxury vehicles includes a Rolls Royce, an electric blue 1997 Lamborghini Diablo and a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
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Andrew Lisa contributed to the reporting for this article.
Last updated: July 19, 2021