First Lady Melania Trump is a former model and the third wife of U.S. President, real estate billionaire and former reality TV star Donald Trump.
Melania was born Melanija Knavs, Germanized to Melania Knauss on April 26, 1970, in Novo Mesto, Slovenia (then part of communist Yugoslavia). Her father was a car dealer and her mother was a designer for children's clothing. She grew up in a modest home with her younger sister and later discovered she had an older half brother, whom her father had from a previous relationship.
Melania began modeling at age 16, and two years later she signed on with an agency in Milan. She enrolled at the University of Ljubljana but dropped out after one year to pursue her modeling career.
In her early days of modeling, Melania worked in Milan and Paris, before moving to New York in 1996. There she gained steady work, working with well-known photographers like Patrick Demarchelier and Helmut Newton, and landing covers on magazines such as Harper's Bazaar (Bulgaria), Vanity Fair (Italy), GQ (for which she posed nude in January 2000) and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Marriage to Donald Trump
Melania met her future husband Donald at a New York fashion party in 1998. Although she first refused to date him, the couple eventually began establishing a relationship and were engaged in 2004. The following year they married in a lavish Palm Beach, Florida, ceremony, with celebrity attendees including Shaquille O'Neal, Barbara Walters, Kelly Ripa, Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, former President Bill Clinton and then New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
In 2006, Trump gave birth to Barron William Trump. Their son is husband Donald's fifth child. That same year she also became a U.S. citizen.