Born in then-Yugoslavia in 1970, Melanija Knavs walked her first catwalk at just 5-years-old. She got her start in fashion thanks to her mom, , who developed patterns for a clothing factory. Melania's seen here (second from the right) modeling some of the company's products in 1977.
After a year of architecture classes at the local university, Melania started modeling full-time. She Germanized her name to Melania Knauss and worked in Milan and Paris until an agency owner (and friend of Donald Trump) brought her to New York. She later appeared in Vanity Fair, Vogue and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
The couple reconciled within six months, and got engaged in 2004. Their winter wedding in Florida featured a star-studded guest list (including Katie Couric, Heidi Klum, Shaq, Barbara Walters, Simon Cowell, Billy Joel and yes, the Clintons), as well as a $200,000 Dior dress that reportedly took .
She has served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the American Red Cross and as a member of the Police Athletic League.
Despite her glamorous lifestyle, Melania believes in being a hands-on parent when it comes to raising her son Barron. "I don't have a nanny," she told in 2016. "I have a chef, and I have my assistant, and that's it. I do it myself. You know, those hours with your child are really important ones."
When asked by in 2013 about the possibility of more kids, Melania said, "We are happy and my hands are full with my two boys — my big boy and my little boy!"
Besides her native Slovene, Melania speaks English, French and Italian fluently, and apparently some Serbo-Croatian and German as well, according to . She recently put her Italian to use while visiting a children's hospital in Rome this spring.
After her visit to the Vatican, Melania's spokeswoman the First Lady practices Catholicism. She was apparently secretly baptized as a child, because the League of Communists of Slovenia controlled the country at the time.
Louisa Adams, the wife of sixth president John Quincy Adams, was born in London. Melania became a permanent resident of the U.S in 2001, and a citizen in 2006.
Per tradition, it begins with the same letter as her husband's alias, . Other First Ladies have gone by Renaissance (Michelle Obama), Tempo (Laura Bush) and Evergreen (Hillary Clinton).
Given her former career, you would think Melania took the top spot but her 5-foot-11 frame actually stands even with Michelle Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt, according to . She holds others superlatives though, like the first naturalized U.S. citizen to become First Lady and the only one born in a communist country.