Melania Knauss was born on April 26, 1970, in Novo Mesto in southeastern Slovenia which was then a part of Yugoslavia. Her father, Viktor, managed car dealerships and her mother, Amalija, was a pattern maker. She studied at the University of Ljubljana for one year before leaving to pursue her modelling ambitions, with five languages under her belt: Slovenian, Serbian, English, French and German.
Melania Trump became a U.S. permanent resident in 2001 and a citizen in 2006. She would be the first presidential spouse to be born outside the United States since Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams, who was born in England.
She began her modeling career at the age of 16, then signed with an agency in Milan when she was only 18. She took a break from full-time modeling to go to college, then returned to the profession afterward. She moved to New York in 1996.
Though she may not have experience in public service, Melania Trump is prepped to help her husband out on the diplomatic front: in addition to her native Slovenian, Trump speaks four other languages: English, French, Serbian and German.
She has one child and four stepchildren with Donald Trump. Her son, Barron, is fluent is Slovenian as well.
Over the years, she’s appeared on the cover of various magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Ocean Drive, Avenue, InStyle and New York Magazine. Then, of course, there’s also that now-famous 2000 cover shoot in which she posed nude for British GQ on a fur rug sporting handcuffs.
Melania Trump has her own jewelry line, called “Melania Timepieces & Fashion Jewelry,” which she sells on QVC. When it launched on the home shopping network in February 2010, Donald was the first caller and Melania’s products sold out in just 45 minutes.
Melania and Donald Trump met in New York in 1998, two years after she moved to the city from Europe. He proposed in 2004 and the pair were married in January 2005, with a reception at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida (the site of his many primary-night press conferences).
She’s the business mogul’s third wife: he was married to his first, Czech-American model Ivana Trump, from 1977 to 1992, and his second, Marla Maples, from 1993 to 1999.