Donald Trump: How going to the New York Military Academy at the age of 13 shaped his future

Donald Trump went to an Ivy League college but where did he go to school? Let’s find out!

Donald Trump reason why he went to military school 'bully Trump'
© Mark Peterson/Getty Images
Donald Trump reason why he went to military school 'bully Trump'

Donald Trump is currently in the running for his second term at the White House. The 78-year-old is going to face Joe Biden today at their first presidential debate hosted by CNN. Trump has gone back and forth with his opinion of Joe Biden as the worst debater to a good debater. His potential plans for the second term include a free, online university he has called ‘The American Academy.’

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The former POTUS takes pride in having gone to an Ivy League college - the prestigious Wharton School. He credits much of his learnings to the college. And not just that, he has often spoken fondly about his school - New York Military Academy.

Where did Donald Trump go to school?

Donald Trump comes from a millionaire background thanks to his real-estate developer father Fred Trump and grandfather Frederick Trump - who allegedly ran a brothel. As a kid, he went to St. Paul's school with his elder brother Fred Trump III. However, he was soon shifted from the prestigious St Paul’s to the New York Military Academy (NYMA) from 1959 to 1964.

According to Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, he was sent to the NYMA boarding school because of his misbehavior. Trump has described the reason behind changing his school to his ‘mischiefs’ in his book The Art of the Deal. Meanwhile, Mary wrote in her book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man that even before Trump entered politics, he wasn’t the most ideal human. Reportedly, he had a penchant for ‘name-calling and teasing kids too young to fight back’ - which also made his parents, Fred and Mary Anne, send him to NYMA.

Detailing the experience in her book, she wrote:

Finally, by 1959, Donald's misbehavior—fighting, bullying, arguing with teachers—had gone too far. Fred didn't mind Donald's acting out, but it had become intrusive and time-consuming for him
When one of his fellow board members at Kew-Forest recommended sending Donald to the New York Military Academy to rein him in, Fred went along with it. Fred had more important things to do than deal with Donald.

She added that Trump’s mother, Mary-Anne, ‘didn't fight for her son to stay home ... a failure Donald couldn't help but notice,’ reports Newsweek.

Interestingly, Trump was enrolled in NYMA over his objections and the other kids in the Trump family regarded it as a ‘reform school.’ The former President saw his change of school as a ‘punishment.’ In his book, however, Trump credits the school as he ‘learned a lot about discipline and about channeling my aggression into achievement.’

Trump’s co-author Tony Schwartz told Frontline that most of who Trump is today is because of his father. He said:

I strongly suspect that he had a relationship with his father that accounts for a lot of what he became. And his father was a very brutal guy. He was a tough, hard-driving guy who had very, very little emotional intelligence, to use today’s terms.

When Fred decided to send Donald to military school at the age of 13, he learned lessons on how to dominate the world with power and he loved that.

Donald Trump’s classmates reveal how he was at NYMA

Possibly due to this, Trump ended up being one of the best students at NYMA. According to his former classmates, Trump was a star athlete who ‘rose to become one of the highest-ranked members of his class.’ Trump was a member of the varsity soccer, baseball, and football teams and was dubbed as a 'ladies' man.' He played baseball well enough to have a professional career, his classmate Arthur Schoenewaldt told Business Insider.

His other classmates revealed that he was very well-liked in school and no one ever spoke badly about him. George Beuttell said:

A lot of us were fooling around, played around, and he was more business than a lot of us. You had to admire that.

Another former classmate, Ted Levine said:

He was just the best, a good athlete, a great athlete…He was physically and mentally gifted.

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Sources Used

Newsweek: Trump Sent to 'Reform School' As Teen for Bullying, Niece's Book Says

Frontline: Trump the ‘Bully’: How Childhood & Military School Shaped the Future President

Business Insider: Donald Trump's classmates share their memories about his 'Lord of the Flies' days in military school

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