Donald Trump was elected the 45th U.S. president in the Nov. 8, 2016, general election. The Queens-born real estate mogul and reality TV celebrity launched his presidential campaign in June 2015 and was declared the presumptive Republican nominee in early May 2016, after his last primary rivals suspended their campaigns.
He gained and maintained an early lead in a crowded field of Republican candidates, in part by touting himself as an outsider who can fix Washington and by staying in the public eye with his frequent Twitter use and media coverage, including social media. During the campaign, Trump was criticized as creating a divisive national mood — and a rift within his party — with mudslinging, his confrontational style and his comments on foreign policy, immigration and minorities, particularly about women, Mexicans and Muslims.
In the end, he bucked longtime political wisdoms, including his own party's, and defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by appealing to voters frustrated about blue-collar jobs, immigration and health care issues and by winning crucial electoral votes in the South and the heartland. As president-elect, Trump's challenges include appointing top members of his administration and unifying the nation during the transition of power.