From reality TV billionaire to the White House - but what next for Donald Trump after his election defeat to Joe Biden?

Video report by ITV News Correspondent John Ray

Donald Trump's presidential defeat has left his political career hanging by a thread, although the Republican firebrand is unlikely to go down without a fight.

Four years ago, many believed the brash Apprentice reality TV star and billionaire tycoon had little chance defeating established Washington stalwart Hillary Clinton.

But the 74-year-old defied all odds, first defeating his fellow Republican rivals at the primaries before crushing his Democratic rival in one of the most memorable US presidential elections of all time.

Since then, the president's White House has been besieged by allegations of collusion with Russia, influencing politics in Ukraine and most recently dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

This election cycle has been dominated by the president's handling of Covid-19, which claimed the lives of more than 235,000 Americans.

Just days after the president told US voters Covid-19 affects “virtually nobody” apart from “elderly people with heart problems and other problems”, he tested positive for the disease, in news that brought the election cycle to a halt with just a month until polling day.

The economic and health upheaval of the outbreak has coincided with mass protests across the country in a summer which should have been filled with campaign rallies.

The death of George Floyd at the hands of three police officers in Minnesota encouraged tens of thousands of people to the streets in the US and across the globe and sparked campaigning and rioting across the country, to declare “Black Lives Matter”.

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Racial divide and a resurgent far right in the US were also on display during protests in Charlottesville, with white supremacists and neo-Nazis taking to the streets in 2017. Anti-Semitic chants were shouted on the streets, and the president came under fire for failing to denounce white supremacy without the caveat of saying there were "very bad people on both sides".

Unafraid to conduct diplomacy via Twitter, Mr Trump has used social media to criticise other world leaders during his four-year term, including former British prime minister Theresa May, as well as a spat with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

He also used the platform to maintain his long-running feud with China, repeatedly tweeting about what he called the “China virus” and to voice his concerns about the internationally recognised Paris Agreement to tackle climate change, which he announced the intention to withdraw the US from in 2017.

He also poked and prodded pariah state North Korea, calling Kim Jong-un "rocket man", before setting up the first ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader in June 2018.

Trump became the first sitting US president to meet a North Korean leader. Credit: AP

Born into the wealthy family of New York property tycoon Fred Trump, Mr Trump claimed his father gave him a “small loan of a million dollars” to help him start out in business.

He later joined his father’s business, helping manage an extensive portfolio of housing projects across New York before taking control of the company in 1971, renaming it the Trump Organisation.

His business empire expanded with the construction of Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue, as well as hotels, casinos, and the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants.

Despite amassing a huge fortune over the years, his companies have also filed for multiple bankruptcies.

Mr Trump’s personal life has also made headlines over the years.

Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, right, speak at a news conference while advisor Donald Trump looks in New York, Tuesday, July 27, 1988. Credit: AP

In 2018, it was revealed that his lawyer Michael Cohen paid porn actress Stormy Daniels almost £100,000 days before the 2016 election in an attempt to keep her silent over her sexual relationship with the president 10 years ago.

Mr Trump and his supporters denied the president knew about the payment for several years before Mr Trump acknowledged it on Twitter in May 2018, and said he reimbursed Mr Cohen for the money paid to Ms Daniels.

His marriages have been similarly high-profile.

His first marriage to Czech athlete and model Ivana Zelnickova ended in divorce in 1990 after three children, Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric, all of whom have played public roles during their father’s first term.

Trump's fame grew after his appearance on the wrestling show WWE with Vince McMahon. Vince's wife, Linda, served in Trump's administration. Credit: AP

A second marriage to actress Marla Maples in 1993 gave Mr Trump another daughter named Tiffany.

The couple separated in 1997 and divorced in 1999.

Mr Trump began dating the now-First Lady, Melania, in 1998 and they married in 2005 before welcoming their son Barron William a year later.

In its 2019 billionaires ranking, Forbes estimated Trump’s net worth at 3.1 billion US dollars, and 715th in the world.

Trump has loyal supporters who have attended his rallies throughout and prior to his presidency. Credit: AP

To liberals, the 45th president is a serial liar whose values contradict that of the country which he has led.

But to his millions of supporters, he is an American hero, fighting against the political correctness of the establishment, a man who understands their plight and talks to them in a way the elites do not understand.

One thing is certain: this will not be the last we hear from Trump or his family.

Could the Trump political dynasty live on in Donald Trump Jr, or perhaps Eric or Ivanka? Credit: AP

The president has so far refused to concede, and his sons Eric and Donald Jr have both been vocal in their support of their father, while daughter Ivanka has also played an integral role in his White House.

Just as the US has previously lived through the Bush and Kennedy political dynasties, Donald's defeat could be just the start for the Trump family.