Giuliana Rancic has been a recognizable face for the pop-culture obsessed for over a decade now, with her high-profile gig as a reporter on E! News and her role on Fashion Police making her one of the most ubiquitous entertainment journalists in the world. In the years since she’s become a public figure, she’s opened up quite a bit, sharing details of body issues, fertility challenges, and her breast cancer diagnosis in 2011 that led to a double mastectomy. As much as she’s revealed about herself, less is known about one significant aspect of her life — her husband Bill Rancic.
Bill, the first winner of The Apprentice, met Giuliana (born Giuliana DePandi) in 2005 when she jumped at an opportunity to interview him following his win. As she revealed in an interview with the HuffPost, she made a calculated decision to talk with him. “I would watch [The Apprentice] with my girlfriend Colette every week, and Colette’s like, ‘You need to marry him.’ I’m like, ‘I do need to marry him,'” Giuliana said. “When the assignment came up at E! I was all over that.”
By 2006, they were engaged, and they married in 2007, leading to their reality show Giuliana & Bill on the Style Network in 2009, and the birth of son Edward Duke Rancic in 2012. But reality TV is just one of the ways he’s built his career, and the entrepreneur owes a good deal of his success to his work with the Trump organization.
Bill Rancic learned the art of the hustle early
A natural-born salesman since his early years, Bill Rancic learned the art of the deal early on. As he told the New York Post in 2004, he jumped into the business world at age 10, when a visit to his grandmother’s house turned into a business opportunity. “My grandma decided to teach me how to make pancakes,” he said. “Afterward, I invited all the old ladies from the neighborhood over to her house, and I cooked them pancakes. When they left, they all put five-dollar bills underneath their plates.”
From then on, Bill, who’s from the Chicago suburbs, was all about the Benjamins, eventually starting a kind of Cigar of the Month Club out of a small apartment. That enterprise was so successful that it led to The Apprentice approaching him to apply for the show — even if he was the last one picked to join after a herd of 215,000 was whittled down to 50 and then 16.
Ultimately, his position on the roster didn’t matter much, as he told radio station KFYO. “When you were a kid and you were the last one picked on a baseball team, it didn’t feel good,” Giuliana Rancic’s husband said in the radio interview, “and I was the last one chosen and low and behold I won the darn thing.”
Bill Rancic only has nice things to say about his former boss
As winner of The Apprentice, Bill Rancic oversaw construction of Trump Tower in Chicago. Calling the building “my beloved Trump Tower,” in a HuffPost piece, Bill’s name is forever linked to the building, and the Trump organization as a whole. While he hasn’t said much publicly about how his former boss has run the country during his four years in office, he told CBS News in January of 2016, “I think he’d be a great president, certainly. I got to watch him from the inside and I was able to see how he works and how he does deals and how he was able to negotiate in difficult times.”
Years later, Bill was still diplomatic in speaking about his old employer. He told Us Weekly in 2018, “He was great to me. He treated me very fairly. He genuinely wanted to lift me up,” and that Trump’s 2016 win was a testament to the American dream. “I think that’s what makes our country great,” Bill added. “Anyone can achieve anything they want. We live in a democracy and people get to vote the way they want to vote.”
Still, Bill Ranic isn't as tied to the Trump brand as he used to be
Bill Rancic hasn’t put all his eggs in the Trump basket however. He’s hosted multiple shows in his own rite, including We Mean Business on A&E and Kitchen Casino on the Food Network. A co-owner of three restaurants, Bill has written several books, served as a spokesperson for Rogaine, and started a cancer research fund too.
Indeed, the very reason Bill was approached by The Apprentice is because of his existing success, and the drive and business-savvy he used to win has served him well in many other projects. Some of the many other ventures occupying his time include charitable work, including the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls in Chicago and even building a home in Haiti, where he went to help with relief efforts following the 2010 earthquake.
He’s even found a way to make his hobbies profitable, it seems. As demonstrated on his Instagram, he’s an expert surfer, which is why the company Malibu Boats made him and his wife ambassadors for their brand in 2018. So while he owes his start in the realm of reality TV and big business to the sometimes controversial one-term president, Bill is definitely doing his own thing.
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