Jared Kushner, born on January 10, 1981 in Livingston, New Jersey, is the son of real estate developer Charles Kushner. When his father was imprisoned amid financial and political scandal, Kushner took over the family business and also went into publishing with his purchase of The New York Observer. In 2009, he wed Ivanka Trump, daughter of another real estate mogul, Donald Trump. Kushner served as a close political advisor to Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and his transition to the White House. He was named a senior adviser to the president in January 2016.
Background and Education
Jared Kushner was born on January 10, 1981 in Livingston, New Jersey. He is one of four children of Charles Kushner, a billionaire real estate developer who was also a major financial supporter of the Democratic Party and various charities. After attending the Frisch School, a yeshiva high school in Paramus, New Jersey, the younger Kushner went on to Harvard University and graduated in 2003. (A journalist would later report that Kushner, who had a modest academic record in high school, was granted admission to Harvard after his father offered an endowment to the university. A spokeperson for Kushner Companies responded to the allegation saying it “is and always has been false.)
In 2005, Charles Kushner plead guilty to crimes that included tax evasion and witness tampering, as well as making illegal political campaign donations. He received a two-year prison sentence. The elder Kushner was prosecuted by then U.S. attorney and future New Jersey governor Chris Christie, with whom Jared would later work as part of an advisory team for Donald Trump’s presidential run.
When Charles Kushner was in prison, Jared took over the real estate business while maintaining a close relationship to his father. In 2006, Jared Kushner purchased The New York Observer and became a publisher while only in his mid-20s. The following year he made news again with his purchase of a Manhattan office building at 666 Fifth Avenue for the then record sum of $1.8 billion. Kushner became the CEO of Kushner Companies in 2008.
Marriage to Ivanka Trump
After dating for almost two years, Kushner wed Ivanka Trump, daughter of Ivana and Donald Trump, in October 2009 in Bedminster, New Jersey. The couple have three children — Arabella, Joseph and Theodore. Ivanka also converted to Orthodox Judaism, which is Kushner’s faith.
Despite coming from a Democratic family, Kushner became a key advisor to Trump as he campaigned to become the Republican nominee for president in 2016. Kushner reportedly worked with Trump on various campaign activities, including merchandising, crafting speeches, social media outreach and the selection of Indiana governor Mike Pence as the vice presidential candidate.
In one election controversy, Kushner, along with Trump’s eldest children, had successfully called for the dismissal of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Kushner found himself involved in another political storm during the summer when Trump tweeted a meme, originally posted on an alt-right message board, labeling Hillary Clinton as highly corrupt with an image evocative of the Star of David and money in the background. An uproar ensued over the anti-Semitic implications of the post. Kushner defended Trump via the Observer and said his father-in-law was not an anti-Semite, stating that the presidential candidate should not be blamed for messaging from supporters who harbor hate-filled, destructive views.
After Trump won the presidential election on November 8, 2016, Kushner became a central part of his transition team. Despite the speculation that Kushner would return to his personal business ventures post-election, it was reported that he had sought legal counsel about the possibility of joining Trump’s administration in some capacity. However, as a close family member, obtaining such a position could run into challenges over a possible breach of strict nepotism restrictions in the executive branch, as well as financial conflicts of interest. Kushner's real-estate company currently holds loans that contain millions from both foreign and domestic entities. In 2016, the Kushner family net worth is estimated to be $1.8 million, the majority of which is in real-estate property holdings, according to Forbes.
In January 2017, Donald Trump's transition team announced that Kushner would be named as a senior adviser to the president.
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