Melania Trump

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Melania Trump
Melania Trump official portrait.jpg
Official portrait, April 2017
First Lady of the United States
In role
January 20, 2017 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byMichelle Obama
Succeeded byJill Biden
Personal details
Melanija Knavs

(1970-04-26) April 26, 1970 (age 52)
Novo Mesto, Slovenia
Political partyRepublican[1]
Donald Trump (m. 2005)
RelationsTrump family
ChildrenBarron Trump
Alma materUniversity of Ljubljana

Melanija Knavs Trump (born April 26, 1970)[2] is a former Slovenian-American socialite and model who had previously served as the First Lady of the United States from 2017 to 2021 as the wife of President Donald Trump.

She grew up in Slovenia (then Yugoslavia), and worked as a fashion model through agencies in the European fashion capitals of Milan and Paris, before moving 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 and 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.[3]

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 and managed car and motorcycle dealerships for a state-owned vehicle manufacturer. Her mother Amalija Ulčnik Knavs came from the village of Raka and worked as a patternmaker at the children's clothing manufacturer Jutranjka in Sevnica.

As a child, Melanija 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 and she has an older half-brother who she reportedly has never met from her father's previous relationship.

When she 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, and 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]

Early relationship[change | change source]

In September 1998, She had met then-real estate mogul Donald Trump at a party, and 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.

Marriage[change | change source]

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 followed by a reception in the ballroom at her husband's Mar-a-Lago estate.

On March 20, 2006, she gave birth to their son, Barron William Trump. She chose his middle name, while 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]

Role in 2016 United States presidential election campaign[change | change source]

In November 2015, Melania was asked about her husband's presidential campaign and replied: "I encouraged him because I know what he will do and what he can do for America. He loves the American people, and he wants to help them". She played a relatively small role in the campaign, which is atypical of spouses of presidential candidates.

In 2016, Melania told CNN her focus as first lady would be to help women and children. She also said she would fight and stop cyberbullying, especially those among young children and teenagers.

First Lady of the United States (2017–2021)[change | change source]

Melania Trump assumed the role and duties of First Lady of the United States on January 20, 2017, succeeding Michelle Obama. Public media compared her fashion to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and widely due to similarities between both of their fashion choices.

In March 2017, Melania 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.

In October 2018, she took a solo tour to Africa, without her focusing on conservation and children and families, visiting countries such as, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt.

Be Best campaign[change | change source]

In May 2018, Melania formally started the 'Be Best' public awareness campaign, which 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[change | change source]

Religion[change | change source]

When the president and first lady visited Vatican City in May 2017, she identified herself as Catholic. She was the first catholic wife to live in the White House since the 1960s and is the second catholic First Lady of the United States after Jacqueline Kennedy.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Melania Trump votes in N.Y. primary". The Washington Post. April 19, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  2. "Melania Knauss Biography". Star Pulse. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  3. Krieg, Gregory (19 July 2016). "No one to be fired after Melania Trump speech plagiarism episode". CNN. Cable News Network. Retrieved 16 November 2016.

Other websites[change | change source]