Things You Didn't Know About Ivanka Trump's Husband

While Donald Trump's name dominated much of the media space throughout the 2016 presidential election, it took a huge team to run the campaign that landed Trump in the White House. Most people are aware of the frontrunners of his campaign team, like Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and even his daughter Ivanka Trump. However, it's actually noted that behind closed doors, Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner had a notable influence on Trump's winning team. Read on to find out more about Ivanka Trump's husband and how he came to be known as the man who "got Trump elected."

His grandparents survived the Holocaust

In an effort to dispute the claims that his father-in-law's campaign ran on a platform of anti-Semitism, Kushner wrote an op-ed for The Observer. In his op-ed, he shot down the idea of Trump as an anti-Semite, using the story of his grandparents who survived the Holocaust as proof that he knows "the difference between actual, dangerous intolerance versus these labels that get tossed around in an effort to score political points." In fact, Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism in order to marry into Kushner's family. Ivanka discussed her conversion with New York magazine, calling it an "amazing and fulfilling experience." Today, Kushner and Ivanka continue to keep a kosher home. "We're pretty observant, more than some, less than others," she told Vogue. "From Friday to Saturday we don't do anything but hang out with one another. We don't make phone calls."

He attended Harvard—though his admittance is suspect

According to Kushner's website, he graduated from Harvard and then went on to NYU to pursue MBA and JD degrees. While he managed to graduate cum laude from Harvard, his initial entry to the prestigious school is somewhat shady. In 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden published The Price of Admission, which took a look at children of the country's elite and their college attendance. In the book, Golden discussed how Kushner's Harvard attendance wasn't well understood. "His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it," a former official at The Frisch School (where Kushner attended as a boy) told Golden. "We thought for sure, there was no way this was going to happen. Then, lo and behold, Jared was accepted." According to Golden's book, Kushner's acceptance to Harvard could have a lot to do with the cool $2.5 million that his father donated to the Ivy League school right before Kushner got in.

His father spent time in jail

In 2005, the New York Times reported that real estate mogul Charlie Kushner, Jared's father, was sentenced to prison for tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations. Apparently, a feud within the family led to Charlie Kushner's arrest and conviction (which was prosecuted by none other than Chris Christie, who also played a role in Donald Trump's 2016 campaign). Despite his father's wrongdoings, Jared Kushner considers the elder Kushner a victim in this story. "His siblings stole every piece of paper from his office, and they took it to the government," he told New York magazine. "Siblings that he literally made wealthy for doing nothing." In that same interview, Charlie Kushner described his son as "the best son to his father in jail."

According to the New York Times, Kushner was instrumental in removing Christie as the leader of Trump's post-election transition team.

He became the CEO of his father's company at only 24 years old

After his father's arrest in 2004, Jared Kushner was tapped as the new CEO of Kushner Companies, a real estate company "responsible for the ownership, management, development and redevelopment of many properties." At the time, he was still attending NYU and had only interned at various real estate companies, according to The Real Deal. "When I look at where I am today and back at the plan I had for my life growing up, I'd say that things could not have gone less according to plan," Kushner told The Real Deal about the abrupt transition. "I've learned in life that it's good to be comfortable with uncertainty."

He owns the New York Observer

According to New York magazine, in 2006, Kushner approached then-owner of the failing Observer with "a check, a presentation printed on peach paper, and a family lawyer." While Kushner "found the paper unbearable to read," he hoped to turn it around, update its website, and make it profitable again. Upon purchase, Kushner vowed to stay out of the paper's editorial process, telling the New York Times, "I am here to help build the paper in a way that will lead to the best and most honest reporting, regardless of who is involved." As of 2015, at least part of Kushner's vision has panned out. In an interview with the New York Times, he claimed the Observer is "cash flow positive."

He met Ivanka at what was supposed to be a business meeting

In an interview with Vogue, Ivanka Trump describes her first meeting with Jared, which was set up by mutual friends who thought they'd make good business acquaintances. "They very innocently set us up thinking that our only interest in one another would be transactional," she told Vogue. "Whenever we see them we're like, The best deal we ever made!" Though they're now married with two kids, the beginning of their relationship wasn't easy. Kushner's mother reportedly wasn't fond of Trump, who wasn't Jewish.

His brother is dating model Karlie Kloss

Jared Kushner isn't the only member of the Kushner family dating a high-profile woman. His brother Josh Kushner, founder of venture capital firm Thrive Capital, is involved with Taylor Swift's bestie Karlie Kloss. According to Town & Country magazine, "Kloss and Josh have never spoken publicly about their relationship but are often photographed together and post about the relationship on social media." A source told Esquire that Kushner's parents are eager for Josh to "settle down." However, it should be noted that Kloss is not Jewish, and would presumably have to convert like Ivanka did for Jared.

He played a huge part in Trump's election

In December 2016, Jared Kushner landed on the cover of Forbes behind a headline claiming, "This Guy Got Trump Elected." Entrepreneur Peter Thiel (who you might remember from the huge 2016 Gawker lawsuit) told Forbes, "If Trump was the CEO, Jared was effectively the chief operating officer." Thanks to his position as both CEO of Kushner Companies and owner of the Observer, Kushner is privy to a lot of powerful people (and information). He explained his involvement in Trump's campaign to Forbes, saying, "I helped facilitate a lot of relationships that wouldn't have happened otherwise." Under Kushner's leadership, the Trump campaign became more structured and profitable. "We weren't afraid to make changes. We weren't afraid to fail. We tried to do things very cheaply, very quickly," he told Forbes. "And if it wasn't working, we would kill it quickly."

So what's Kushner up to now that Trump is the 45th U.S. President?

According to the New York Times, Donald Trump "is urging his son-in-law to join him in the White House." NPR notes that Congress passed anti-nepotism laws in 1967 to prevent public officials from hiring family members. While this law may prevent Kushner from accepting a formal position in Trump's White House, he reportedly met with a lawyer to discuss the ways he could join the administration.

Given that the Times describes Kushner as a "steadying hand" in Trump's inner circle, it's likely we'll be reading a whole lot more about him over the next four years (and possibly more).