Donald Trump

Donald Trump books and biography


Donald Trump


Trump with his wife Melania
Born June 14, 1946 (1946-06-14) (age 61)
Flag of the United States Queens, New York, New York, U.S.
Occupation Chief Executive Officer
Net worth $2.9 billion[1]
Spouse Melania Trump
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.


Overview and business

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.[2] 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),[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[citation needed]

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:

"After I graduated from the New York Military Academy in 1964, I flirted briefly with the idea of attending film school...but in the end I decided real estate was a much better business. I began by attending Fordham University...but after two years, I decided that as long as I had to be in college, I might as well test myself against the best. I applied to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and I got in...I was also very glad to get finished. I immediately moved back home and went to work full time with my father."

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.[6]

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 2½-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.[7]

Financial problems

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[4] 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.[8]

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.[9]

By 1994, Trump had eliminated a large portion of his $900 million personal debt[10] 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.[citation needed]

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.[11] 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[12] the company re-emerged from bankruptcy as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings.[13]


Future site of Trump International Hotel & Tower, Toronto
Future site of Trump International Hotel & Tower, Toronto

In its October 9, 2006 Forbes 400 issue, Forbes explained how it values Trump's wealth to reach its estimate of $2.944 billion.

Selected completed properties

  • Trump World Tower: 845 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY. It is valued at $290 million.
  • Trump Tower: 725 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10022 Trump owns the retail and office space on the lower half of this building. It is valued at $288 million.
    • Personal Residence: Trump Tower: top 3 floors of Trump Tower with approximately 30,000 square feet (3,000 m²) of space; detailed in bronze, gold, and marble. Worth as much as $50 million, it is one of the most valuable apartments in New York City.
  • AXA Financial Center, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY
  • Bank of America Center (San Francisco): When Trump was forced to sell a stake in the railyards on Manhattan's West Side, the Asian group to which he sold then sold much of the site for $1.76 billion. They then reinvested the rest of the money, via a tax-free exchange, into two office buildings: 1290 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan and the Bank of America Center in San Francisco (The Group has since sold their stake to Vornado Realty Trust). Trump ended up owning 30% of the two buildings. Based on the recent sales price, Trump's stake is valued at $540 million.
  • The Trump Building at 40 Wall Street: Trump bought and renovated this building for about $35 million in 1996. Although Trump claims it is worth $400 million, New York tax assessors value it at only $90 million. Mr. Trump has taken out a $145 million mortgage on this property to use for other investments. Forbes values the property at $260 million.
  • Trump Entertainment Resorts: This company owns the Trump branded casino resorts. After a long period of financial trouble, the company entered bankruptcy protection in 2004. Trump agreed to invest $55 million cash in the new company and pay $16.4 million to the company's debtors. In return he holds a 29.16% stake in the new public company. This stake was worth approximately $171 million in October 2006. The following are the Trump branded casino resorts:
    • Trump Taj Mahal (Official Site)
    • Trump Plaza (Official Site)
    • Trump Marina (Official Site)
      • TrumpStreet Casino & Entertainment Complex, Philadelphia: Trump and a group of Philadelphia investors have a applied for a license for this casino. They are one of five groups vieing for two Philadelphia gambling licenses.
  • Riverside South/Trump Place When completed, Riverside South will be the largest single private development in New York City's history. It was built by the Trump Organization, although financed by investors from Hong Kong and owned by the Hudson Waterfront Company. During his financial difficulties in the mid 90's, Trump was forced to sell this site, the former west side rail-yards. The new owners continued Trump's involvement with the property and sought to use his name to seek higher sales prices. Trump was paid $2 million annually for his oversight of the project, and he was offered an estimated 30% of the net profits upon completion of this 10 year project. The investors sold off the uncompleted project in 2005 for $1.8 billion and offered Mr. Trump $500 million. Trump contends that the property should have been sold for more than $3 billion and in 2006 sued the owners for selling without his consent, and sought $1 billion in damages. Forbes values his stake in the property at $170 million.
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, Las Vegas (Anticipated completion of Tower I is 2007). This is a joint development with fellow Forbes 400 member, Phillip Ruffin. Trump's stake is valued at $162 million.
  • Trump Park Avenue: Park Avenue & 59th Street. It is valued at $142 million.
  • Golf Courses: Trump currently ownes four golf courses in the United States including Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York, Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump International in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, CA. In 2006, Donald Trump purchased an 800-acre plot just north of Aberdeen at Menie, Scotland, Trump International Golf Links, with the intention of turning it into "the world's best golf course" by 2008. The development plan included two courses, a 5-star hotel, holiday homes and a golf academy. Trump intended for the site, once finished, to hold the British Open. Trump is also building Trump International Golf Club in the Caribbean island of Canouan Island, The Grenadines. Trump also builds residential housing developments near these golf clubs. Examples include: The Estates at Trump National in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, Trump Island Villas on Canouan Island, The Grenadines, and The Residences at Trump National in Westchester County, NY. These golf courses are valued at $127 million.
  • Nike Store: The Niketown store is located in Trump Tower. It is valued at $120 million
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago (Anticipated completion is 2009) It is valued at $112 million.
  • Palm Beach estate: 43,000 square feet (4,000 m²) on a large oceanfront lot in Palm Beach. Trump purchased this property for $40 million at a bankruptcy auction in 2004. Renovations to the property were led by the Season 3 Apprentice Kendra Todd, and Trump is planning to re-list the property for $125 million. If it is sold at this price it would be by far the most expensive house ever sold in the United States. (The current record is $70 million for Ron Perelman's Palm Beach estate in 2004.). Forbes values his stake in the property for $43 million.
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York: Trump provided his name and expertise to the building's owner (GE) during the building's re-development in 1994 for a fee totaling $40 million ($25 million for project management and $15 million in incentives deriving from the condo sales). Forbes values Trump's stake at $12 million.
  • Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida. Most of this estate has been converted into a private club. This landmark property, according to Trump, has received bids near $200,000,000. However, Forbes magazine does not take into account either of Trump's large vacation residences (Mar-a-Largo or his 213 acre spread in Westchester County, NY) for its valuation of his wealth.

Real Estate Licensing

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:

International hotel and tower properties

  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, Fort Lauderdale (Anticipated completion is 2007)
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, Toronto (Anticipated completion is 2010)
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, SoHo (New York City)
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, Honolulu (Anticipated completion is 2009)
  • The Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, Panama City (Anticipated completion is 2009)
  • Trump International Hotel and Tower, New Orleans (Project slated to begin construction during the first quarter of 2007)

Other properties

  • Trump Palace: 200 East 69th Street, New York, NY
  • Trump Parc and Trump Parc East: Two adjoining buildings on Central Park South on the southwest corner of The Avenue of the Americas. Trump Parc East is a 14-story apartment building and Trump Parc (the former Barbizon Plaza Hotel) is a 38-story condominium building.
  • Trump Plaza: 167 East 61st Street, New York, NY ( 39-story, Y-shaped plan condominium building on the Upper East Side)
  • 610 Park Avenue (The old Mayfair Hotel): Trump is helping with the construction and development of this property for Colony Capital.
  • Trump World: Seoul, Korea for which Trump received a licensing fee of $5 million to lend his name.
  • Trump Towers (Atlanta): Tower I will be 48 stories and include 370 units while Tower II is still under design.
  • Trump Towers (Sunny Isles Beach, Florida): will have over 270 residential condominiums
  • Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residences: A hotel condominium (Trump International Sonesta Beach) and two residential condominium towers (Trump Palace and Trump Royale) located in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida with fellow Forbes 400 member Jorge Perez.
  • Trump Hollywood: A 40-story building on Hollywood Beach, Florida with fellow Forbes 400 member Jorge Perez.
  • Trump Soho Hotel Condeminium: A partnership with Bayrock Group to build a 42 story building in Soho.
  • Trump Plaza: Jersey City, NJ. The project includes New Jersey's two tallest residential towers and costs about $450 million. The 55-story tower will have 445 condos, and the 50-story tower will have 417. [14]
  • Trump Ocean Club Baja Mexico is a planned 3 tower, 25 story, 526 unit hotel condominium 30 minutes south of downtown San Diego.
  • Trump Plaza (New Rochelle) is a 39-story luxury residence and hotel with retail space that is currently under construction in Westchester County, NY with developer Louis R. Cappelli.
  • Trump Tower (Palm Beach) will be a 23-story residential condominum development.
  • Trump Tower at City Center is a 35-story condominium apartment building built in Westchester County, New York with developer Louis R. Cappelli.
  • Trump Parc Stamford is a development in Stamford, Connecticut with F. D. Rich Company and Louis R. Cappelli.
  • Trump Las Olas Beach Resort will be home to Trump International Beach Club, a 12-story hotel condominum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Trump at Cap Cana will be located in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
  • Trump Tower Denver
  • Trump Tower (Tampa): Tampa, Florida [15]
  • Trump Plaza Tower 70-floor to be built in Ramat Gan, Israel
  • Trump Tower (Philadelphia): This 45-story building will offer 263 luxurious condominiums on the Delaware River.

In the media

The Apprentice promotional photo
The Apprentice promotional photo

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.[16]

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.

Other ventures

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: The Art of the Deal
  • Trump: The Art of Survival
  • Trump: The Art of the Comeback
  • Trump: Surviving at the Top
  • Trump: How to Get Rich
  • The Way to the Top: The Best Business Advice I Ever Received
  • Trump: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life
  • Trump: The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received
  • Why We Want You to be Rich: Two Men - One Message, co-written with Robert Kiyosaki.


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.


  1. ^ Forbes. #314 Donald Trump. Retrieved on July 7, 2007.
  2. ^ The New York Observer. Trump vs Trump in Battle of the Exes. Retrieved on July 7, 2007.
  3. ^ Washington Post. The Art of the Greater Fool: How the Shuttle Business Got Grounded. Retrieved on July 7, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Trump Trips Up. Time (May 6, 1991). Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  5. ^ Trump World Tower. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  6. ^ No Stadium Needed. The New York Sun. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  7. ^ FASTER AND CHEAPER, TRUMP FINISHES N.Y.C. ICE RINK. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  8. ^ Taj Mahal is out of Bankruptcy. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  9. ^ Trump Plaza Hotel Bankruptcy Plan Approved. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  10. ^ Donald Trump. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  11. ^ Trump casinos file for bankruptcy. MSNBC (November 22, 2004). Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  12. ^ COMPANY NEWS; TRUMP DELAYS EMERGENCE FROM BANKRUPTCY BY A WEEK. New York Times (May 5, 2005). Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  13. ^ Indiana Gaming Commission on Trump Resorts' Bankruptcy. Indiana Gaming Comission. Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  14. ^ Trump's tall plan for Jersey City. JCEDC (September 21 2005). Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  15. ^ Extent of Trump Tower delay to be known soon. Tampa Bay Business Journal (October 13 2006). Retrieved on 2007-07-07.
  16. ^ Dagostino, Mark and Brian Orloff. "Rosie Slams Trump, The Donald Fires Back", People Magazine, Time Inc., 2006-12-20. Retrieved on 2007-07-07. 


  • Blair, Gwenda (2000). The Trumps. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80849-8.

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