Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

This week is Trump's arraignment — and birthday. Here's how he has celebrated before

A woman tapes a "Happy Birthday" sign to her car, as supporters of former President Donald Trump gather at Tropical Park in Miami on Sunday.
Rebecca Blackwell
/
AP
A woman tapes a "Happy Birthday" sign to her car, as supporters of former President Donald Trump gather at Tropical Park in Miami on Sunday.

This week is shaping up to be a big one for former president Donald Trump. He's expected to be arraigned in federal court in Miami on Tuesday — and he'll turn 77 the next day.

It's not clear how the former president (and now presidential candidate) had been planning to celebrate this year, though he's spent at least his last three birthdays at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Trump's late ex-wife Ivana told People Magazine in 2021 that he "hates his birthdays."

But they haven't all been low-key affairs. In fact, quite the opposite.

Trump, who was born in 1946 in Queens, N.Y., and spent decades as a real estate developer, has thrown his share of lavish birthday parties over the decades.

In 1988, Trump celebrated his 42nd birthday at one of his casinos, featuring a laser show complete with a 15-foot spaceship and a performance by magicians and dancers to a version of the Michael Jackson song "Bad," reworked in his honor.

"And of course, there was to be a telegram from President Reagan, and video birthday cards from Liza Minnelli, Billy Crystal, Dennis Miller and Joe Piscopo," the Washington Post reported at the time.

In 1990, Trump's casino party included televised birthday messages from Dolly Parton and Elton John and Robin Leach, the host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, who Buzzfeed reports "stepped out of a giant replica of Trump's soon-to-be-bankrupted airline, Trump Shuttle." (This was observed by a reporter who snuck into the party and spent a night in Atlantic City jail for trespassing.)

In 1993, Trump's 47th birthday party theme was "Renaissance Man," the Independent reports. The invitations depicted him as a king brandishing a sword and promised both dancing and live jousting (it's not clear by whom).

"An event ghastlier invitation a year later indicates the party — held at the same venue — was Tarzan-themed and billed Trump as 'Lord of the Financial Jungle,' " it added.

In 1996, for his 50th, Trump's then-wife Marla threw what the New York Times described as a "no-holds-barred bash" with 400 of his closest friends, a mermaid ice sculpture (of herself), blown-up photographs of Trump from his childhood and a performance by Eartha Kitt, among other highlights.

Donald Trump poses with the "Deal or No Deal Girls" and actress Carmen Electra (far right) at his 61st Birthday Bash at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J. in June 2007.
Tim Larsen / Associated Press
/
Associated Press
Donald Trump poses with the "Deal or No Deal Girls" and actress Carmen Electra (far right) at his 61st Birthday Bash at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J. in June 2007.

"As the Superman movie theme began to play, the cake was wheeled onto the stage — with all of Mr. Trump's buildings on it, and a sugar figure of Mr. Trump, dressed like Superman with a money sign on his chest," per the Times. "Ms. Kitt sang 'Happy Birthday,' and 600 gold balloons cascaded from the ceiling."

In 2005 Trump celebrated his 59th at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, where Baywatch star Pamela Anderson was on the guest list and Trump blew out candles on a 15-foot cake, the Post reports. Anderson said in 2018 that she had been paid $500 to attend.

If Trump — who leads the Republican primary field — wins reelection, he would start his second term at age 79. President Biden, who is four years older than Trump, was 78 when became the oldest living president the day he was sworn into office.

This story originally appeared Friday in NPR's Trump indictment live blog.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman
Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.
Related Stories