US Elections 2016: People

Donald Trump's children: Polar opposites of their dad

As the curtain came down on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, another seemed to rise on a new generation of potential political and business leaders - candidate Donald Trump's five children.

Four of them took a turn in the spotlight over the four days leading up to their father's acceptance of the Republican party's nomination for presidential candidate at the Nov 8 poll. All came across as polar opposites of their father - they were as poised and articulate as he was loud and blustery.

Here's a look at each of the heirs to Mr Trump's estimated US$4.5 billion (S$6.1 billion) fortune:


Donald Trump's eldest son Donald Trump Jr. PHOTO: AFP

The oldest of the billionaire's brood is one of three children Mr Trump had with his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelnickova.

Married to a model with five children, Donald Jr, 38, serves as the executive vice-president of his father's real estate company, The Trump Organisation.

The first to speak on his father's behalf on the second night of the convention, he took aim at the state of public education, although The Washington Post was quick to point out that he did not attend a public school. His father's money put him and his siblings through private schools and he went on to his father's alma mater - the University of Pennsylvania.

"Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they're stalled on the ground floor," he said.


Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's elder daughter. PHOTO: AFP

To many, the real standout at the convention, who upstaged Mr Trump, was his elder daughter.

Ivanka, 34, who made Maxim magazine's Hot 100 women in 2007, also works in her father's real estate firm. Her title is executive vice-president of development & acquisitions. She also has her own jewellery line, the Ivanka Trump Collection.

However, her success in business has been overshadowed somewhat by her looks, growing celebrity on her father's reality TV show, The Apprentice, and now as the leading surrogate for her father on the campaign trail.

She has performed her role ably, including countering characterisations of her father as a misogynist. She described him as "colour-blind" and "gender neutral" in her speech just before Mr Trump's acceptance speech.


Eric Trump, Donald Trump's second son. PHOTO: REUTERS

The youngest of Mr Trump's children with Ivana is Eric who is 32, recently married with no children, and another vice-president in Mr Trump's firm. There, he has focused on its golf courses, increasing the company's number from three to 17 in three years.

Eric took the convention podium to praise his father prior to the speech by vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence. He highlighted Mr Trump's business acumen as the reason Americans should choose him to lead their country.

"It's time for a president who understands the art of a deal and appreciates the value of a dollar - our tax dollars," he said.

The young man himself founded a charity in 2006, the Eric Trump Foundation, which raises funds for children battling life-threatening diseases.


Donald Trump's younger daughter Tiffany Trump. PHOTO: AFP

The only child of Mr Trump and Ms Marla Maples was reportedly named after Tiffany and Company, after her father made a business deal with the jewellery house.

Like her half-brother Donald, Tiffany, 22, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

Tiffany's passion is music and she released a single in 2014, Like A Bird. She is also big on Instagram and has some 100,000 followers.

Her speech on the second night of the convention lasted all of five minutes but was heartfelt. She reminisced about how her father would write notes on her primary school report cards praising her work, and said "in person, my father is so friendly, so considerate, so funny and so real".



Barron Trump, Donald Trump's youngest son, with his mother Melania. PHOTO: AFP

The youngest Trump is the son of the Republican presidential nominee and his current wife, Slovenian model Melania. The 10-year-old made headlines during the convention for yawning, covering his face and looking bored during his father's rambling 75-minute-long acceptance speech on Thursday night.

Earlier this year, Mrs Trump spoke of her and her husband's relationship with Barron with US Weekly. "We always spend quality time together over the weekends. He and Barron golf together when it's possible," she said.

She told Parenting magazine she has a nickname for the boy: "His personality is why I call him Little Donald."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2016, with the headline 'People Donald Trump's children: Polar opposites of their dad'. Print Edition | Subscribe