The former high-fashion model and businesswoman serves as first lady from Trump Tower in New York.
Melania Trump, the wife of President Donald Trump, leaves the President’s Room of the Senate, at the Capitol in Washington on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2017. (J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE, POOL/AP)
1. Melania Trump was born Melanija Knavs on April 26, 1970, to Viktor and Amalija Knavs in Slovenia. She is the first foreign-born first lady since Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams.
2. From the time she could draw, Trump made her own jewelry and sketched her own clothing designs, which her mother or sister then sewed. She has since designed jewelry collections for QVC.
3. She pursued a degree in architecture at Slovenia’s University of Ljubljana with the aspiration of becoming a designer, but began dabbling in modeling after being discovered at a local casting call. She dropped out after a year and launched her modeling career in Milan and Paris, during which time she changed her surname to the more German-sounding Knauss.
4. She has always been a homebody, which may explain her frequent absence during her husband’s presidential campaign and his first months in office. Even during her modeling years in the 1990s, she avoided the New York party scene.
5. Billy Joel, Elton John, Paul Anka and Tony Bennett all performed at Melania and Donald Trump’s wedding in 2005 at the Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal church in Palm Beach, Florida. Also in attendance: Katie Couric, P. Diddy, Heidi Klum and Shaquille O’Neal, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton.
6. She had a split-second cameo in the first “Zoolander” movie, which came out in 2001.
7. Between 2005 and 2006, she appeared in an Aflac commercial in which a mad scientist switched her brain with that of the company’s spokes-duck.
8. It took 10 years for Trump to become an American citizen. She moved to the United States in 1996 on a H1-B visa, gained her green card in 2001 and officially became a U.S. citizen in 2006, a year after she married Donald Trump.
9. In 2012, Trump joined in an agreement with New Sunshine LLC to produce a caviar-based skincare line. The Melania Caviar Complex C6 was featured in the 2013 season of “The Apprentice” as two teams competed to develop a display for the product. By the time the episode aired, though, legal disputes over the agreement between New Sunshine and the Trump Organization led to an aborted launch.
10. Her favorite television show is “How to Get Away with Murder.”