55° Good Morning
55° Good Morning

Donald Trump Jr.: What to know about Trump's first son

Donald Trump's firstborn, Donald Trump Jr., has referred to his father as his mentor and best friend.

When Trump Jr. makes headlines, they often relate to that father-friend. Most recently, following a New York Times report on July 9, Trump Jr. admitted that he had met with a Russian lawyer during his dad's presidential campaign in 2016. He released a statement, and Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff, described the meeting as a "big nothing burger."

Then, on July 11, Trump Jr. tweeted an email chain regarding what led up to that meeting with the Russian lawyer. The emails mentioned an offer to deliver damaging information about rival Hillary Clinton as part of Moscow's official support for his father.

Born in 1977 in Manhattan, Trump Jr. is one of three children of Trump Sr. and his first wife, Ivana. He was only 12 years old when his parents separated and he and his siblings lived with their mother after the divorce. But Trump Jr. still built a strong relationship with his father and has followed partially in the Republican nominee's footsteps, taking a major role in the family company. He hasn't yet run for office, but the idea has crossed his mind, he says.

Scroll down for more about the eldest child of President Trump.

He has taken over the family company

Donald Trump Jr. (center), along with Eric Trump,
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Oli Scarff

Donald Trump Jr. (center), along with Eric Trump, will run The Trump Organization, Donald Trump's real estate business, now that his father is president. Trump Jr. previously served as an executive vice president of the family company, overseeing new projects and development of the company's real estate, hotels, golf courses and more.

He's married and has five children

Trump Jr. married Vanessa Haydon, a former model,
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chris Kleponis

Trump Jr. married Vanessa Haydon, a former model, in 2005. They had been introduced at a fashion show in 2003 by Donald Trump Sr., according to a New York Times article. The two now have five children, Kai, Chloe, Donald, Tristan and Spencer.

He speaks Czech

Trump Jr. learned how to speak Czech after
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Grant Lamos IV

Trump Jr. learned how to speak Czech after visiting his mother's parents in a town outside of Prague. According to a New York magazine profile, Trump Jr. was very close with his maternal grandparents, Milos and Maria Zelnicek. He often went fishing, boating and hunting with his grandfather.

He attended The Wharton School

Trump Jr. followed in his father's footsteps by
Photo Credit: Getty Images / John Moore

Trump Jr. followed in his father's footsteps by attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He had previously attended The Hill School, a boarding school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

Controversial 'gas chamber' remark

Trump's first son was criticized after he said
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Trump's first son was criticized after he said the media would "be warming up the gas chamber right now" if Republicans were acting the way Democrats were during an interview on Sept. 15, 2016. The Anti-Defamation League called on him to retract the statement and said, "Trivialization of the Holocaust and gas chambers is NEVER OK." Trump Jr. later said he was referring to capital punishment, not the Nazi-led Holocaust, when he made the remark. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, only 11 executions in the United States have been done by gas chamber since 1976.

He wants to run for NYC mayor – maybe?

Trump Jr. didn't rule out the idea of
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Trump Jr. didn't rule out the idea of running for mayor of New York City during an interview on CNN in July. "I never like to rule anything out," he said. "As my father's always said ... we always like to keep our options open. So if I can do that as a service to our country, I'd love to do it." Donald Trump Sr., however, didn't seem to think his son would actually ever run. "I don't see that happening," he said on Fox News.

He enjoys hunting

Trump Jr. (left) and his brother Eric both
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Robyn Beck

Trump Jr. (left) and his brother Eric both enjoy hunting. They came under fire in 2012 when pictures emerged of them posing with the wild animals they killed in Zimbabwe, but the brothers said they were not hunting illegally or killing animals that were endangered. Trump Jr. defended hunting as a hobby in an interview with Forbes. "Hunting forces a person to endure, to master themselves, even to truly get to know the wild environment," he said. "Hunting and fishing makes you fall in love with the natural world."

Trump Jr. may be part of the Russia investigation

The news broke on July 9: Trump's eldest
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Win McNamee

The news broke on July 9: Trump's eldest had met with a Russian lawyer during his father's presidential campaign, just weeks after he secured the Republican nomination. The New York Times first reported the story, citing three advisers.

Trump Jr. released a statement, confirming the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya: "After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton." It added that, "It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information."

Jared Kushner and Trump's then-campaign manager Paul J. Manafort were also at the meeting, which appears to have snared Trump Jr. into the ongoing investigation into his father's campaign and Russian interference with the election.

Trump Jr. then decided the best way to move forward after releasing the statement was to tweet an email chain that preceded the meeting in which he was told that the lawyer might be able to provide "very high level and sensitive information" that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr. later reiterated on Fox News that the meeting did not end up having anything to do with Clinton.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News photos & videos