Before Donald Trump became a brassy builder and presidential candidate, he was a boy growing up in Queens. NY1's Michael Scotto takes a look at how Trump's Queens roots helped mold him into the person he is today.
Donald Trump is synonymous with Fifth Avenue, but to understand what helped to shape the billionaire, people who know Trump say: look across the East River.
"He is still a Queens guy. He sounds like a guy from Queens," Gwenda Blair, author of "Donald Trump: Master Apprentice." "He doesn't have the sort of—certainly doesn't present the kind of polish and refinement and old money of Upper East Side New York.
Trump grew up in a 23-room colonial, in leafy Jamaica Estates. He was one of five children. The family had a cook and chauffer, but neighbors say the Trumps were hardly showy.
"I knew that they were fairly quiet. They were fairly strict," says Jamaica Estates Association president Martha Taylor.
Trump's father, Fred, built apartment houses in Queens and Brooklyn. He demanded his children work hard, often bringing them to his job.
Fred and his wife Mary gave Donald a sense of self-confidence, but that brashness also could get Donald into trouble.
Trump attended the Kew-Forest private school in Forest Hills school until he was 13, when his parents, worried about his behavior, sent him to a more disciplined setting.
His days at the New York Military Academy upstate were regimented.
Friends say he excelled at baseball, played football and basketball.
The future beauty peagent maestro also was named "Ladies Man."
Ted Levine was Trump's high school roommate.
"I had to be better than my father. He had to be better than his father. We were sent here to be the best of the best, and we knew what our job was," Levine says.
Still, at home, Trump's reputation endured. Journalist Joyce Purnick grew up nearby and says her mother had strong opinions of him.
"Whenever she would encounter Donald Trump—and apparently it was quite often—he was tooling around in his car. He would break the speed limits. He would go through stop signs. She would come back all angry and say, 'Stay away from that guy,'" Purnick says.
But those who knew him insist there were signs that Trump would make it big.
"He was well-positioned. He was good looking. He had a lot going for him," Levine says.
Blair says that while Donald was brash and confident, he also had a chip on his shoulder from his years living in Queens.
It would all fall into place. He went to the Wharton School, entered the family business, became a billionaire, and now, a White House candidate.