Donald Trump and Joe Biden: Who Were They Before Politics?

Adeline Poindexter and Mackenzie Owens

The election date of November 3rd, 2020 is quickly approaching and anticipation is spurring for many as the next President is soon to be elected. Biden and Trump are the 2020 candidates in one of the most controversial elections to date. How much do you know about these candidates’ lives before politics? 

Trump

Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York. Trump and his four siblings were raised by his parents Fred and Mary Anne Macleod Trump. Although both parents were in the children’s lives, they were mostly raised by their mother Mary Anne. While Mary Anne stayed home to raise their children like most women, Fred was pursuing his career in home construction and sales. Trump’s mother raised them Presbyterian, and he still identifies as Protestant today.

As a child, Trump was described as assertive and full of energy. At the age of thirteen, he was sent to the New York Military Academy in hopes to discipline him more and to help him use his energy in a positive way. At the New York Military Academy he became a leader and a rising athlete before graduation in 1964.

After graduation, he enrolled into Fordham University, but later transferred to Wharton School of Finance at UPenn. With a degree in economics, he graduated in 1986. During college, he worked for his father’s business, the Fred Trump Organization, in the summer. He also succeeded in delaying his education to serve in the Vietnam war.

Trump followed in his father’s footsteps by pursuing real estate in order to stay a part of the family business. Trump says that by following in his father’s footsteps, it has helped bring out his ambitions. Trump is now the principal owner of the Trump Organization.

The Trump Organization is a real estate company. This organization owns, operates, invests in, and develops residential real estate, hotels, resorts, residential towers, and golf courses in a variety of countries. 

Trump’s daughter Ivanka was the executive Vice President of the Trump Organization. She left her position at the Trump Organization and her fashion label in order to work directly with her father. Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, is also Trump’s senior advisor.

Trump’s accomplishments include publishing a book The Art of The Deal. According to Whitehouse.gov/trump-administration-accomplishments- he has created almost four million jobs since the previous election. It also states that he has lowered the unemployment rate for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, women, and youth since the previous election, not including this year due to the pandemic.  

Biden

Joseph “Joe” Robinette Biden Jr. was born on November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Growing up, his father was a used car salesman, and his mother Catherine stayed at home. Biden credits his parents for instilling determination inside of him and inspiring him to stand up for himself. Biden remembers his father frequently stating, “Champ, the measure of a man is not how often he is knocked down, but how quickly he gets up.” This quote always resonated with him as a law student, and his childhood struggle of a stutter, which he was often bullied for.

Biden moved to Delaware at age 13, where he attended St. Helena High before attending Archmere Academy; a prestigious private high school in Claymont, Delaware. In order to pay tuition, he worked at the school by washing windows and weeding the garden. Biden referred to Archmere as, “The object of my deepest desire, my Oz.” During his time at Archmere, he was a stable and hardworking student and an excellent receiver on the football team despite his size. Biden graduated from Archmere in 1961, and attended University of Delaware to study political science.

Inspired by the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, his interest in politics peaked. He started focusing more on schoolwork rather than football and parties. His junior year of college, he went on a trip to the Bahamas where he met Neilia Hunter, a student at Syracuse University. Convinced he was in love, he continued to study hard in order to attend Syracuse University Law School after graduating from the University of Delaware. Attending law school, he was a mediocre student at best. He failed a class for not properly citing a reference in a law review, which later haunted him in his career. Shortly after graduating, he married Neilia.

Joe Biden is currently married to Jill Tracy Jacobs whom he married in 1977. He has four children including Beau, Hunter, Naomi, and Ashley. Only two of his four children are alive today.  His former wife Neilia died in a car crash with his infant daughter Naomi, and his sons Beau and Hunter were injured in a crash in 1972. His son Beau Biden died in 2015 due to brain cancer at Walter Reed Medical Center at age 46. Biden believes that although he has gone through so much, it has brought him closer to family and he continues to cherish the memories of his children.

Joe Biden was a Delaware attorney from 1968-1972. He was also a Delaware New Castle County Council member from 1970-1972. He ran for Delaware senate and was successful against opponent J. Caleb Boggs in 1972. He was re-elected  in 1978, running against John M. Burris. He was a presidential candidate in 1988, but his campaign did not last long due to alleged plagiarizing of speeches from British politician Neil Kinnock and US Democrats Robert Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey. He was able to be re-elected as Senator in 1990 and 1996 against Republican candidates. In 2007, he ran for president again but dropped out after only receiving less than 1% of votes. He became Vice President for Barack Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. He was a nominee for the 2020 election, and is now serving as the Democratic candidate for the 2020 election. 

Works Cited

Editors, Biography.com. “Joe Biden.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 14 Oct. 2020, www.biography.com/political-figure/joe-biden. 

Editors, Biography.com. “Donald Trump.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 23 Oct. 2020, www.biography.com/us-president/donald-trump.