|First Lady of the United States|
January 20, 2017 – January 20, 2021
|Preceded by||Michelle Obama|
|Succeeded by||Jill Biden|
April 26, 1970
Novo Mesto, Slovenia
|Citizenship||United States |
Donald Trump (m. 2005)
|Alma mater||University of Ljubljana|
She grew up in Slovenia (then Yugoslavia). She worked as a fashion model through agencies in the European fashion capitals of Milan and Paris. After that, she moved to New York City in 1996. She was associated with Irene Marie Models and Trump Model Management.
In 2005, she married the real estate developer and TV personality Donald Trump. She gave birth to their son Barron in March 2006. Later that year, she became an American naturalized citizen. She is the second immigrant woman after former First Lady Louisa Adams and the first non-native English speaker to become first lady.
Biography[change | change source]
Early life, family and education[change | change source]
Melanija Knavs was born in Novo Mesto, Slovenia on April 26, 1970. Her father, Viktor Knavs was from the nearby town of Radeče. He managed car and motorcycle dealerships for a state-owned vehicle manufacturer. Her mother Amalija Ulčnik Knavs, came from the village of Raka. She worked as a patternmaker at the children's clothing manufacturer Jutranjka in Sevnica.
As a child, Knavs and other children of workers at the factory participated in fashion shows that featured children's clothing. She has an older sister, Ines Knauss, who is an artist. She has an older half-brother who she reportedly has never met from her father's previous relationship.
When Knavs was a teenager, she moved with her family to a two-story house in Sevnica. As a high-school student, she lived in a high-rise apartment in Ljubljana. She attended the Secondary School of Design and Photography in the city. She studied architecture and design at the University of Ljubljana for one year before she dropped out.
Relationship with Donald Trump, marriage, and children[change | change source]
In September 1998, Knavs met real estate mogul Donald Trump at a party. The couple began dating while the latter was in the process of divorcing his second wife, Marla Maples. The divorce was finalized in 1999. In 1999, the couple gained attention after a lewd interview with shock jock Howard Stern on his show.
The two became engaged in 2004. On January 22, 2005, they married in an Anglican service at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida. There was a reception in the ballroom at her husband's Mar-a-Lago estate.
On March 20, 2006, Trump gave birth to their son, Barron William Trump. She chose his middle name and her husband chose his first name. She also has four stepchildren, stepsons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump and stepdaughters Ivanka Trump and Tiffany Trump.
Role in the 2016 United States presidential election[change | change source]
First Lady of the United States (2017–2021)[change | change source]
Trump assumed the role and duties as the first lady of the United States succeeding Michelle Obama, when her husband inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Multiple media sources and outlets compared her fashion to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, widely because of similarities between both of their fashion choices.
In March 2017, Trump had hosted her first White House event, a luncheon for International Women's Day. She spoke to an audience of women about her life as a female immigrant, and about working towards gender inequality.
Trump served as the first lady from 2017 until her husband's term ended in January 2021.
Be Best campaign[change | change source]
In May 2018, Trump formally started the 'Be Best' public awareness campaign. It focused on well-being for youth and advocated against cyberbullying and drug use. The campaign was accompanied by a booklet that was promoted as having been written by "First Lady Melania Trump" and the Federal Trade Commission.
Personal life and religion[change | change source]
When the president and first lady visited Vatican City in May 2017, Trump identified herself as Catholic. She was the first Catholic wife to live in the White House since the 1960's. Trump is the second Catholic first lady after Jacqueline Kennedy.
References[change | change source]
- "Melania Trump votes in N.Y. primary". The Washington Post. April 19, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- "Melania Knauss Biography". Star Pulse. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- Krieg, Gregory (19 July 2016). "No one to be fired after Melania Trump speech plagiarism episode". CNN. Cable News Network. Retrieved 16 November 2016.