Thursday, March 3, 2016
With Greta Van Susteren - 3/2/16 - Fox News
Melania Knauss; April 26, 1970) is a jewelry and watch designer and former model. She is married to American billionaire real estate developer and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. Born in Yugoslavia (now Slovenia), she became a permanent resident of the United States in 2001 and acquired citizenship in 2006.
Knauss was born in Sevnica, in Slovenia's Lower Sava Valley (then part of Yugoslavia) on April 26, 1970. Her father, Viktor Knavs, who managed car and motorcycle dealerships, was from the nearby town of Radeče; her mother, Amalija, a fashion designer, came from a village in the area surrounding Sevnica, within the confines ofSevnica Castle. She has an older sister, Ines.
Knauss grew up in a modest apartment in a concrete housing block. When she was a teenager, the family moved to a two-story house near Sevnica. She began her modeling career at age 16, and at age 18 signed with a modeling agency in Milan,Italy. She is fluent in Slovenian, English, French, Serbian, and German.
After moving to New York City in 1996, Knauss met Donald Trump at a Fashion Weekparty in New York City in September 1998. Their relationship gained notoriety after a 1999 interview on The Howard Stern Show, and additional publicity after the 2004 launch of Trump's successful business-oriented reality television show, The Apprentice. Donald Trump described their long courtship in 2005: "We literally have never had an argument, forget about the word 'fight' ... We just are very compatible. We get along."
After becoming engaged in 2004, Donald Trump and Melania Knauss were married on January 22, 2005, at The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, followed by a reception in the 17,000-sq.-ft. ballroom at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.
In 2006, Melania gave birth to a son named Barron William Trump. Donald suggested his first name, and Melania his middle name. As an infant, Barron reportedly occupied his own floor in the Trumps' apartment in Trump Tower in Manhattan, but often slept in a crib in his parents' bedroom. He plays golf with his father, and is reported to be equally fluent in English and Slovenian, while also speaking French. He is said to like wearing a suit and tie, and Melania's nickname for him is "Mini-Donald".
Melania and Donald are often seen and photographed together at New York City society events and receptions. Television personality Barbara Walters, impressed with Melania's intelligence when she met her, has said of her: "Maybe because she's so pretty, we don't expect her to be as smart as she is."
She has been associated with various charity events, including of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She was Honorary Chairwoman for Martha Graham Dance Company in April 2005; is an active member of the Police Athletic League, which honored her with Woman of The Year 2006; has been an Honorary Chairwoman for The Boy's Club of New York for five consecutive years; and in 2005, The American Red Cross awarded her with the title of Goodwill Ambassador. In 2008, she rang the closing bell atNASDAQ to commemorate the Fifth Annual National Love Our Children Day and the beginning of National Child Abuse Prevention month.
In 2015, asked about her husband's presidential campaign, Melania 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." When asked by The New York Times what her role would be if Trump were to become president, Melania replied: “I would be very traditional. Like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. I would support him.”