Trump with his wife Melania
|Born||June 14, 1946 (1946-06-14) |
Queens, New York, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Chief Executive Officer|
|Net worth||$2.9 billion|
|Children||Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump, Barron Trump|
|Website||The Trump Organization|
Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York, New York) is an American business executive, entrepreneur, television and radio personality and author. He is the CEO of Trump Organization, an American-based real estate developer, and the founder of Trump Entertainment, which operates several casinos. He received a great deal of publicity following the success of his reality television show, The Apprentice (in which he serves as both executive producer and host for the show). He is the son of Fred Trump who was a wealthy real estate developer based in New York City.
Trump has gained notability for his celebrity lifestyle and his real estate successes, including several skyscrapers bearing his name. He is popularly known by his nickname The Donald given to him by ex-wife Ivana Trump. He is also known for his catchphrase "You're Fired" and his unique hair style. Due to his outspokenness and media exposure, Trump is an easily recognizable public figure.
Starting with the renovation of the Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt with the Pritzker family, he continued with Trump Tower in New York City and several other residential projects. Trump would later expand into the airline industry (buying the Eastern Shuttle routes), and Atlantic City casino business, including buying the Taj Mahal Casino from the Crosby family, then taking it into bankruptcy. This expansion, both personal and business, led to mounting debt. Much of the news about him in the early 1990s involved his much publicized financial problems, creditor-led bailout, extramarital affair with Marla Maples, and the resulting divorce from his first wife, Ivana Trump.
The late 1990s saw a resurgence in his financial situation and fame. In 2001, he completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters. Also in 2001, he began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. Trump owns commercial space in Trump International Hotel and Tower, a 44-story mixed-use (hotel and condominium) tower on Columbus Circle. Trump currently owns over 18 million square feet of prime Manhattan real estate.
He remains a major figure in the field of real estate in the United States and a current celebrity for his prominent role on American television reality show The Apprentice.
He attended The Kew Forest School in Forest Hills N.Y., but when he was thirteen, his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy hoping to direct his energy and assertiveness in a positive manner. It worked reasonably well: while at NYMA, in upstate NY, Trump earned academic honors, played varsity football in 1962, varsity soccer in 1963, and varsity baseball from '62-64 (baseball captain '64). The baseball coach, Ted Dobias, a local celebrity for his unselfish work with area youth, awarded him the Coach's Award in '64. Promoted to Cadet Captain-S4 (Cadet Battalion Logistics Officer) his Senior Year, Trump, and Cadet First Sergeant Jeff Donaldson, '65, (West Point '69) formed a composite company of cadets, taught them advanced close-order drill, and marched them all down Fifth Avenue on Memorial Day, 1964. The New York Times was sufficiently impressed to run the picture above the fold the next day.
Trump attended Lynn University for two years before transferring to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating in 1968 with a bachelors of science in economics and concentration in finance, he joined his father's real estate company.
In his book, Trump: The Art of the Deal, Trump discusses his undergraduate career:
In her book, The Trumps: Three Generations that Built an Empire, Gwenda Blair wrote that Trump had fewer friends at Wharton than he had had at military school. He had sought out real estate professors as friends, and it was altogether a socially awkward situation.
Trump began his career at his father's company, the Trump Organization, and initially concentrated on his father's preferred field of middle-class rental housing. One of Donald's first projects, while he was still in college, was the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio--turning a 1200-unit complex with a 66% vacancy rate to 100% occupancy within a year. When the Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $12 million, they cleared $6 million in profit. In the 1970s he benefited from the financially strained New York City government's willingness to give tax concessions in exchange for investments at a time of financial crisis, via the redevelopment of the bankrupt Commodore Hotel. He was also instrumental in steering the development of the Javits Convention Center on property he had an option on.
The development saga of the Javits Convention Center brought Donald Trump into contact with the New York City government when a project he'd estimated could have been completed by his company for $110 million ended up costing the city between $750 million to $1 billion. He offered to take over the project at cost but the offer was not accepted.
A similar situation would arise in the city's attempt to restore the Wollman Rink in Central Park--a project started in 1980 with an expected 2˝-year construction schedule that was still, with $12 million spent, nowhere near completion in 1986. Trump offered to take over the job at no charge to the city, an offer that was initially rebuffed until it received much local media attention. Trump was given the job which he completed in six months and with $750,000 of the $3 million budgeted for the project left over.
By 1990, the effects of recession left Trump unable to meet loan payments. Trump financed the construction of his third casino, the $1 billion Taj Mahal, primarily with high-interest junk bonds. That put him at a disadvantage with competitors who used more of their own money to finance their projects. Although he shored up his businesses with additional loans and postponed interest payments, by 1991 increasing debt brought Trump to business bankruptcy and the brink of personal bankruptcy. Banks and bond holders had lost hundreds of millions of dollars, but opted to restructure his debt to avoid the risk of losing more money in court. The Taj Mahal re-emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50% ownership in the casino to the original bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates on the debt and more time to pay it off.
On November 2, 1992, the Trump Plaza Hotel was forced to file a prepackaged Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection plan after being unable to make its debt payments. Under the plan, Trump agreed to give up a 49% stake in the luxury hotel to Citibank and five other lenders. In return Trump would receive more favorable terms on the remaining $550+ million owed to the lenders and retain his position as chief executive, though he would not be paid and would not have a role in day-to-day operations.
By 1994, Trump had eliminated a large portion of his $900 million personal debt and reduced significantly his nearly $3.5 billion in business debt. While he was forced to relinquish the Trump Shuttle (which he had bought in 1989), he managed to retain Trump Tower in New York City and control of his three casinos in Atlantic City. Chase Manhattan Bank, which lent Trump the money to buy the West Side yards, his biggest Manhattan parcel, forced the sale of a parcel to Asian developers. According to former members of the Trump Organization, Trump did not retain any ownership of the site's real estate - the owners merely promised to give him about 30 percent of the profits once the site was completely developed or sold. Until that time, the owners wanted to keep Trump on to do what he did best: build things. They gave him a modest construction fee and a management fee to oversee the development. The new owners also allowed him to put his name on the buildings that eventually rose on the yards because his well-known moniker allowed them to charge a premium for their condos.
In 1995, he combined his casino holdings into the publicly held Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. Wall Street drove its stock above $35 in 1996, but by 1998 it had fallen into single digits as the company remained profitless and struggled to pay just the interest on its nearly $2 billion in debt. Under such financial pressure, the properties were unable to make the improvements necessary for keeping up with their flashier competitors.
Problems loomed for Trump's casino resorts. In a May 28, 2004, Wall Street Journal article, Trump said the specter of bankruptcy bothered him "from a psychological standpoint," but added, "it really wouldn't matter that much." A number of his bondholders disagreed. In the same article, Meyer Marvald, a Florida retiree who said he owned about $44,000 of the bonds, claimed "[Trump] has the Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads." On October 21, 2004, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts announced a restructuring of its debt. The plan called for Trump's individual ownership to be reduced from 56 percent to 27 percent, with bondholders receiving stock in exchange for surrendering part of the debt. Since then, Trump Hotels has been forced to seek voluntary bankruptcy protection to stay afloat. After the company applied for Chapter 11 Protection in November 2004, Trump relinquished his CEO position but retained a role as Chairman of the Board. In May 2005 the company re-emerged from bankruptcy as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings.
Many developers pay Donald Trump to market their properties and be the public face for their projects. For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name. According to Forbes, this is by far the most valuable portion of Trump's empire with a valuation of $562 million. According to Forbes, there are 33 licensing projects under development including seven "condo hotels". Some examples are:
Donald Trump, a two-time Emmy Award-nominated personality, has made appearances as a caricatured version of himself in television series and films (e.g. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Nanny, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Days of Our Lives), as a character (The Little Rascals), and as a guest on various talk shows and other media.
In 2003, Trump became the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show, The Apprentice, in which a group of competitors battled for a high-level management job in one of Trump's commercial enterprises. The other contestants were "fired," or eliminated, from the game. At the end of each episode, Trump eliminates at least one contestant while uttering the catchphrase "You're fired." For the first year of the show Trump was paid $50,000 per episode (roughly $700,000 for the first season), but following the show's initial success, he is now paid a reported $3 million per episode, making him one of the highest paid TV personalities. In 2004, Donald Trump filed a trademark application for the phrase "You're fired," which he had popularized on the show.
In 2007, Trump received an honor for his contribution of The Apprentice to television by receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Donald Trump was also the Banker on an episode of Deal or No Deal during which, after a contestant won only $25, Trump wrote a check to the contestant's son for $25,000.
The Miss Universe Organization is owned by Donald Trump and the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). The organization produces the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants.
Other investments include a 17.2% stake in Parker Adnan, Inc. (formerly AdnanCo Group), a Bermuda-based financial services holdings company. In late 2003, Trump, along with his siblings, sold their late father's real estate empire to a group of investors that included Bain Capital, KKR, and LamboNuni Bank reportedly for $600 million. Donald Trump's 1/3 share was $200 million, which he later used to finance Trump Casino & Resorts.
With his success in real estate and television, Trump has succeeded in marketing the Trump name on a large number of products. These products include Donald J. Trump Men's Collection, Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, Donald Trump The Fragrance (2004), Trump Ice bottled water, Trump Magazine, Trump Golf, Trump Institute, Trump The Game (1989 Board Game), Trump Steaks, Trump University, a business education company,
Trump is a known World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fan. He has hosted two WrestleMania events in the Trump Plaza and has been an active participant in several of the shows. Trump's Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City was host to the 1991 WBF Championship (which was owned by WWE, known at the time as the "World Wrestling Federation"). He also appeared at Wrestlemania 23 in the corner of Bobby Lashley who competed against Umaga with Vince McMahon in his corner, in a hair versus hair match, with either Trump or McMahon having their head shaved if their competitor lost. Trump was also involved with the old USFL, a competitor to the NFL, as owner of the New Jersey Generals. In addition, Trump at one time acted as a financial advisor for Mike Tyson and hosted Tyson's fight against Michael Spinks in Atlantic City.
In the 2000 election, Donald Trump considered running for president as a member of the Reform party.
Trump has authored many books including:
Trump has three siblings - a brother and two sisters. His older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, is a federal appeals court judge.
In 1977, Trump married Ivana Zelničkova, later Ivana Trump, and together they have three children: Donald, Jr. (born December 31, 1977), Ivanka, (born October 30, 1981), and Eric (born January 11, 1984). They were divorced in 1992. In 1993, he married Marla Maples and together they had one child, Tiffany, (born October 13, 1993). They divorced on June 8, 1999. On April 26, 2004, he proposed to Melania Knauss (Melanija Knavs in Slovenian, later Melania Knauss-Trump) from Slovenia. Trump and Knauss (who is 24 years Trump's junior) married on January 22, 2005, at Bethesda by the Sea Episcopal Church on the island of Palm Beach, Florida, followed by a reception at Trump's Mar-A-Lago estate. Melania gave birth to a boy named Barron William Trump, Trump's fifth child, on March 20, 2006.