First Ladies: Melania Knavs Trump

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Melania Trump is the wife of Donald Trump and current First Lady. She is the second foreign-born First Lady of the United States, following Louisa Adams in 1825.

Melania Trump

Melanija Knavs was born on April 26, 1970 in Novo Mesto in the southeast of Slovenia, which was then part of Yugoslavia. She is the daughter of Viktor and Amalija Ul─Źnik Knavs.

Melanija attended the Secondary School of Design and Photography in Ljubljana, and studied at the University of Ljubljana for one year before dropping out.

Trump began modeling at age 5 and started doing commercials at 16, when she posed for the Slovenian fashion photographer Stane Jerko. At 18, she signed with a modeling agency in Milan, Italy. She was named runner-up in the 1992 Jana Magazine “Look of the Year” contest, held in Ljubljana, which promised its top three contestants an international modeling contract.

Melania Trump

After leaving college she modeled for fashion houses in Milan and Paris. She then relocated to New York City in 1996.

Through her lawyer, she has indicated she first entered the United States on a business visitor visa in August 1996.

Once arriving in the United States, she appeared on the covers of many magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and the 2000 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
In September 1998, she met Donald Trump at Fashion Week. He was separated and in the process of a divorce from his second wife.

Melania Trump

Melania refused to give Trump her phone number when they first met, because he was there with another date. The couple broke up shortly after they began dating, but later reconciled.

As a model, she was associated with Irene Marie Management Group and Donald Trump’s Trump Model Management.

Applying as a model of “extraordinary ability”, Melania obtained a green card and became a lawful permanent resident in 2001, and citizen in 2006.

In 2000, Melanie appeared with Donald Trump at an appearance for the Reform Party.

Their relationship gained additional publicity after the 2004 launch of Donald’s business-oriented reality television show, The Apprentice. Donald described their long courtship in 2005: “We literally have never had an argument, forget about the word ‘fight’ … We just are very

Melania Trump

compatible. We get along.”

The couple were married on January 22, 2005 in Florida.

On March 20, 2006, she had their son, Barron William Trump.

It has been reported that she speaks six languages: English, French, Italian, German, Serbo-Croatian and her native Slovene.

Unlike most modern day First Ladies, Melania Trump did little campaigning with her husband, instead focusing on raising their ten year old son.

Melania Trump

In November 2015, when asked about her husband’s presidential campaign, Trump said: “I encouraged him because I know what he will do and what he can do for America. He loves the American people and he wants to help them.”

Melania Trump became first lady on January 20, 2017. She is the first First Lady to be a naturalized citizen of the United States, rather than being born in the U.S. She is also the first to speak English as a second language, and the first to be fluent in more than two languages.

At 5 feet 11 inches, she is one of the tallest First Ladies along with Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Obama.

In 2016, she told CNN her focus as First Lady would be to help women and children. She also said she would combat cyber bullying, especially among children, having quit social media herself due to the “negativity”.