The life of Donald Trump Jr., who once lived out of a truck, didn’t speak to his father for a year, and is now embroiled in the Russia scandal

Donald Trump Jr. speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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Donald Trump Jr. speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
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John Moore/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, has always been detail-oriented and business-focused, leaving the spotlight to his father and his sister Ivanka.

“I know the entertainment stuff helps us,” he told Forbes in 2006. “But somebody’s got to stay here to remind everybody that we build buildings.”

Today, Trump is in charge of building those buildings, leading The Trump Organization with his brother Eric.

But his life hasn’t been without drama, and he’s always been one of his father’s staunchest defenders. Now embroiled in the Russia investigation, many are wondering more about Donald Trump Jr. Here’s what we know:


Donald Trump Jr. was born in Manhattan on December 31, 1977, to Donald Trump and his first wife, Ivana. As the first-born, he was named after his father.


Trump was whisked off to boarding school with his brother Eric after his parents’ divorce. He went to The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, for high school.

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Donald Trump Jr., left, and Eric Trump.
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Vanity Fair


When he was 12, he didn’t speak to his father for a year, after the elder Trump encouraged gossip magazines to chronicle his divorce from Ivana.

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Donald Trump and Ivana Trump pose outside the Federal Courthouse after she was sworn in as a US citizen in May 1988.
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Reuters

Source: The New York Times


For college, Trump went to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he studied finance and real estate. His siblings Ivanka and Tiffany, as well as their father, also attended Wharton.

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Wikimedia Commons

Source: The Trump Organization


After graduation, he took a year off from studies and work. He lived in Aspen, Colorado, where he “hunted, fished, and camped, lived out of the back of a truck, and bartended.”

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Shutterstock

Sources: Vanity Fair, The New York Times


Trump learned his outdoor skills from his maternal grandfather, who was a role model for him growing up. As a child, he spent six to eight weeks during the summers in Czechoslovakia with his grandparents.

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MSF/Shutterstock

Source: The New York Times


He says he speaks fluent Czech, the native language of his mother and his grandparents.

Source: Twitter


When he returned home in September 2001, he went to work for his father. His mother once said, “When they turned 21, I handed them over to him and said, ‘Here’s the finished product.'”

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Donald Trump talks with Ivana Trump during the men’s final at the US Open.
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Mike Blake/Reuters

Source: Vanity Fair


Trump met Vanessa Kay Haydon, a model, in 2003 at a fashion show when his father introduced them. The couple married on November 12, 2005, at the Trump family’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, his aunt, officiated the ceremony.

Sources: The New York Times, The New York Times, Vanity Fair


The couple now has five children: Kai (born in 2007), Donald III (2009), Tristan (2011), Spencer (2012), and Chloe (2014).

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Getty Images/Dave Kotinsky

Source: People


After being a bit of a partier in his youth — he was once arrested in New Orleans on charges of public intoxication — Trump says he now abstains from alcohol.

source
CNN

Source: The New York Times


Over the years, Trump rose to the position of executive vice president of his father’s organization, in charge of various building projects, hotels, condos, and golf courses. Notably, he took the lead on constructing the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago.

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REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Sources: Vanity Fair, the Trump Organization


In a 2006 cover story on the two eldest children, Forbes called Ivanka “the spotlight-loving Ms. Outside” and Donald “the detail-obsessed Mr. Inside.”

Source: Forbes


Trump appeared as a boardroom adviser with Ivanka on their father’s reality-TV show “The Apprentice.”

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From left: The first “Celebrity Apprentice” winner Piers Morgan, Donald Trump, and Ivanka Trump.
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NBC

Source: New York Times


Trump started a building-materials company, Titan Atlas Manufacturing, with two business partners in 2010. By 2012, the company ceased operations after tax liens were filed for unpaid sales and withholding taxes.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sources: Vanity Fair, The Post and Courier


Titan Atlas continued with legal troubles through 2016. A lawsuit involving the company brought by Saint-Gobain Adfors, an international construction company, has been pending since April 2016.

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Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump, and Melania Trump.
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Source: Vanity Fair


Trump’s love of hunting upset the internet during the 2016 presidential campaign when a picture surfaced of him and Eric posing with a dead leopard. The photo lost “The Apprentice” one of its sponsors.

Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times


Trump also stirred political trouble with a tweet that compared Syrian refugees to Skittles during the campaign. “Speaking the truth might upset those who would rather be politically correct than safe,” he said in defense.

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An image Donald Trump Jr. tweeted on September 20, 2016.
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Donald Trump Jr.

Source: Business Insider


After his father won the presidency, Trump joined the transition team’s executive committee.

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REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Source: Vanity Fair


Donald and Eric are now serving as trustees of the Trump Organization and running the company together while their father is president.

source
REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Source: Business Insider


Under their leadership, the Trump Organization plans to launch “American Idea” hotels aimed at mid-market customers in areas where their father won big. The first three are expected to roll out in Mississippi.

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REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Source: Business Insider


Trump fell into political hot water in March when he tweeted a quote from London Mayor Sadiq Khan that made it look as if he were relaxed about the issue of terrorism in London. Trump’s tweet came after a terrorist attack in Westminster, but Khan’s quote was 6 months old.

Source: The Guardian


Trump has been one of his father’s most vocal defenders. In June, he blasted former FBI Director James Comey, posting over 80 tweets during Comey’s live testimony before a congressional committee.

Sources: Business Insider, The Associated Press


Trump became part of the Russia controversy after The New York Times reported on July 9 that he took a meeting with a Russian lawyer who had told him she had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

source
CNN

Source: Business Insider


The news has led some to raise new questions about whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to meddle in the election. And it briefly made Donald the most googled child of Donald Trump.

Sources: Twitter, Business Insider


During the 2016 election, Trump was in touch with WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that published wave after wave of damning information on Hillary Clinton’s campaign from hacked emails, The Atlantic reported in November 2017.

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A screenshot of Twitter DMs Donald Trump Jr. shared he had with Wikileaks during the 2016 presidential election.
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Donald Trump Jr./Twitter

Sources: Business Insider, The Atlantic


Trump celebrated his 40th birthday on December 31, 2017 with a family fishing trip.