NEW YORK - In one of the most stunning political upsets in American history, Republican Donald Trump pulled off a huge electoral victory over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States.
The real estate tycoon, who has never held public office, swept the electoral map, winning every key swing state - Florida, Ohio and North Carolina - and flipped multiple states in Mrs Clinton's Democratic firewall, including the supposed stronghold of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
His stunning victory was declared after his win in Wisconsin put him over the 270 electoral vote threshhold.
Shortly afterwards, Mrs Clinton called him to concede defeat.
At age 70, Mr Trump will be the oldest first-term American president.
"I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me,'' he told a cheering crowd in Manhattan.
"For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I am reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country," he said.
He also pledged to “deal fairly with everyone,” including all other nations. “We will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us. We will have great relationships,” he added.
In his speech, Mr Trump also congratulated Mrs Clinton "on a very very hard fought campaign".
His win was a repudiation of months and months of polls and projections, evoking the shocking outcome of Brexit - the British referendum on whether to stay in the European Union. Mr Trump had started the night as a heavy underdog but made stunning gains as vote counting progressed.
The victory up-ended years of conventional wisdom about what it takes to win a presidential election. Mr Trump is the first presidential candidate in decades to not have released his tax returns; he did not build up a ground infrastructure; and he spent far less money than his vanquished candidate.
It also made clear that the populist economic message and desire for change in Washington was so strong that it rendered Mr Trump's scandals - especially his divisive rhetoric and treatment of women - irrelevant.
The vaunted Clinton advantage among minorities and women looks to have been trumped by the businessman's appeal among white working-class voters. That demographic pushed him to victories throughout the region known as the rust-belt, a former manufacturing base that has seen many of its plants closed and moved overseas.
The victory was so complete that it gave Republicans full control of the government, holding the White House and both houses of Congress for the first time in years.
DEJECTION AND EUPHORIA AMONG SUPPORTERS
The mood among Clinton supporters was upbeat initially but the excitement gradually turned to dejection as the night wore on and it became clear that Mrs Clinton's White House bid was not going to be successful.
Ms Allie Rohletter, a 20-year-old student, said: "This just makes me genuinely believe that no matter how hard you work, no matter how hard you try, no matter what, the odds are always going to be against you because you are a woman."
Another of Mrs Clinton's supporters, Ms Martha Nunez, 58, a desk clerk in a hotel, said she was also disappointed. She said she had expected more Latinos like herself to vote for Mrs Clinton. The American citizen originally from Honduras said: "I may have to pack my bags and go back to my country."
At a Republican event, Trump supporter Robert D. Cheren said: "I am proud that so many Americans have voiced that they want to make steel and cars in America and bring American capital back to America."
"I think the social divisions have largely been manufactured i think when you step back from what they said to get elected, this President-elect is in line with most working people - and that's not divisive. I hope what he said about deporting people is not something he will follow up on. But we have Republicans talking about labour and working people, that's incredibly unifying," said the 30-year-old lawyer with Cleveland firm Squire Patton Boggs.
LONG LINES AT POLLING STATIONS, NO MAJOR INCIDENTS
Millions of Americans turned up to cast their votes on Tuesday. Long lines were seen at many polling stations across America.
There were no signs of the voter intimidation or cyber attacks that many had feared, although some stations in Utah and North Carolina had to resort to paper ballots due to technical glitches.
Some voters in the more populated precincts across the country reportedly had to wait for up to three hours to cast their ballots.
Speaking after casting her vote in her hometown of Chappaqua, New York, Mrs Clinton said voting was the "most humbling feeling" because of what was at stake in the election.
Mr Trump, after casting his vote in Manhattan, said that he was buoyed by the "tremendous enthusiasm" he has seen.
The Trump campaign had on Tuesday filed a legal challenge against a Nevada polling station for staying open past its scheduled closing time during early voting.
Politico reported that it is seeking an emergency court order to set aside the ballots and voting machines from the early voting sites so it can be adjudicated after the election. A judged later dismissed the challenge.