In the lead up to the US election on November 3, Newshub is profiling the two major Presidential candidates: Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.
Republican candidate Donald Trump shocked the world when he defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, claiming the US Presidency.
Four years later he's back on the campaign trail ready to take on former Vice President and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
But the world has significantly changed since then, with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world, infecting over 38 million people and killing 1.9 million.
Trump has been widely criticised for his handling of the pandemic, particularly his attempts to downplay it's severity, the government's slow response, and the US President's aim to shift the blame onto China and the World Health Organization.
Over 8.5 million people have contracted the virus in the United States alone, and the country has the highest death toll at 227,000.
In October, Trump himself was diagnosed with the virus and was hospitalised as a precaution.
The election is looming on November 3, and Americans will be looking to see how the presidential contenders perform in the final debate on Friday.
But who is the real estate developer, television personality and pageant owner Donald Trump?
Here's what you need to know:
Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in New York to real estate developer Fred Trump and Mary McLeod.
He is the second youngest of five siblings:
- Maryanne Trump Barry, a senior judge in the US Court of Appeals,
- Fred Trump Jr, a pilot who died in 1981 after struggling with alcohol,
- Elizabeth Trump Grau, a retired banker,
- Robert Trump, who worked in the family business and died in August 2020.
Maryanne Trump Barry would go on to call the US President a "cruel man" with "no principles" in a secret recording by her niece Mary Trump released in 2020.
"All he wants to do is appeal to his base," Barry said. "He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my god, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this."
Trump attended New York Military Academy and Fordham College at Rose Hill.
Real Estate Career
Trump graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance and Commerce.
He said that he first got into real estate after university with a "small" US$1 million loan from his father.
"It has not been easy for me, it has not been easy for me," he told reporters in 2015, CNN reported.
Trump then went on to join the family business, managing a portfolio of residential housing projects before taking control of the company in 1971 and renaming it the Trump Organization.
He then changed the company's direction to focus on bigger projects including hotels, resorts, residential and commercial building, and golf courses.
These included transforming the Grand Hyatt and constructing the family's most famous property, the 68-storey Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
Pageant Owner, Television Personality and first Presidential endeavour
In the late 1990s, Trump took over as owner of the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants.
During his ownership, former personal lawyer Michael Cohen said Trump ogled at contestants and boasted he could "have all of them" if he wanted.
It was later revealed that he once called a winner 'Miss Piggy' when she put on weight following her victory.
In the early 2000s, Trump launched The Apprentice, a reality television show where contestants competed to win a $250,000 starting contract to promote one of Trump's properties.
During the show's run, Trump was paid a total of $213 million, Politico reported.
In 2000, Trump made his first foray into politics, aiming to receive the nomination of the Reform Party, a moderate, centrist and populist political party.
Trump was presented as an alternative nominee to frontrunner Pat Buchanan, ABC News reported, and entered the California primary election where he received 15,311 votes.
Trump later withdrew his candidacy, expressing concerns about the party.
The Presidential Race
In June 2015, Trump announced his intention to run for President for the Republican Party.
"We need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again. We can do that," he said in his announcement speech.
Trump ran a controversial campaign built on promises to strengthen the American economy, build a wall on the border of Mexico and the US, and to temporarily ban immigration by Muslims.
After defeating 17 contenders, Trump accepted the Republican nomination to take on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
In October 2016, footage from 2005 surfaced of Trump talking about trying to have sex with married women and the infamous line: "grab 'em by the pussy".
During the second presidential debate, Trump defended the comments as "locker room talk".
But afterwards, 11 women came forward to claim that they had been sexually harassed or assaulted by him, CNN reported.
Despite the controversies Trump shocked the world by defeating Clinton in the electoral college vote and on November 8, 2016, he was elected President of the United States.
Trump's term as US President has been well known for constantly spouting false claims, Twitter eruptions, and a contentious relationship with the 'Fake News' media.
Here are some of his memorable moments in office:
- Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.
- He signed a sweeping order on immigration in 2017, banning travel from seven countries - Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.
- Trump was caught up in scandal after porn star Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, claimed they had an affair.
- After violent clashes at a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017, Trump declared there were "fine people" on both sides.
- He announced the government's controversial "zero tolerance" policy for illegal border crossings.
- In December 2018 the US recorded the longest partial government shutdown in history after Trump demanded lawmakers allocate US$5.7 billion in funding for a border wall with Mexico.
- In December 2019 the House of Representatives then voted to impeach Trump after an inquiry. He was later acquitted in February 2020.
Since the virus' first emergence at a wet market in Wuhan, China in late 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread around the world.
By March 27 the United States became the new epicentre, overtaking every other country for the most cases.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the US government's response was seen as slow and Trump was seen downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19, which were seen as major failures.
On October 2, Trump announced via Twitter he had tested positive for COVID-19. He was admitted to Walter Reed Hospital as a precaution but took the controversial decision to visit fans in the drive-by.
Commenters have made the case that Trump is no longer running against a political opponent in the 2020 election, instead, he is competing with the virus.
Trump has been married three times, the first in 1977 to Ivana Zelnickova with whom he had three children - Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric.
In 1993 he then married Marla Maples and had daughter Tiffany.
He then married his current wife model Melania Knauss in 2005, and the couple had son Barron Trump.
Trump is a grandfather to 10.
His family has gone on to be an integral part of Trump's presidency.
They have joined him during the 2016 and 2020 campaign trails and many members of his family are also in his administration.