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Donald Trump

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Donald Trump
Donald Trump March 2015.jpg
Trump at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), March 2015
Born Donald John Trump
(1946-06-14) June 14, 1946 (age 69)
Queens, New York, US
Residence
Alma mater Fordham University (transferred)
University of Pennsylvania (B.S. Economics)
Occupation  • Chairman and president of The Trump Organization[1]
 • Chairman of Trump Plaza Associates, LLC[2]
 • Chairman of Trump Atlantic City Associates[2]
 • Host of The Apprentice (formerly)
Years active 1968–present
Salary $60 million[2]
Net worth Increase US$4.1 billion (July 2015)[2]
Political party
Republican (Before 1999; 2009–2011; 2012-present)
Reform Party (1999–2001)[3]
Democratic (2001–2009)[4]
Independent (2011–2012)[5]
Religion Presbyterianism[6]
Spouse(s) Ivana Zelníčková (1977–1992)
Marla Maples (1993–1999)
Melania Knauss (2005–present)
Children Donald
Ivanka
Eric
Tiffany
Barron
Signature Donald Trump Signature.svg
Website
Official website

Donald John Trump, Sr. (born June 14, 1946) is an American business magnate, investor,[7] television personality, author, and 2016 presidential candidate. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts.[1] Trump's extravagant lifestyle and outspoken manner have made him a celebrity for years, a status amplified by the success of his NBC reality show The Apprentice.[2]

Trump is a son of Fred Trump, a prominent New York City real estate tycoon.[8] He worked for his father's firm, Elizabeth Trump & Son, while attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1968 officially joined the company.[9] He was given control of the company in 1971 and renamed it The Trump Organization.[10][11] Trump remains a major figure in the real estate industry in the United States and a celebrity for his prominent media exposure.[12]

In 2010, Trump expressed an interest in becoming a candidate for President of the United States in the 2012 election,[13][14] though in May 2011, he announced he would not run.[15] Trump was a featured speaker at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).[16] In 2013, Trump spent over $1 million to research a possible presidential bid in 2016.[17][18] On June 16, 2015, Trump formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2016 election at Trump Tower in Manhattan.[19][20]

Early life and education[edit]

Trump was born in Queens, New York, one of five children of Mary Anne (née MacLeod) and Fred Trump, who married in 1936. His oldest brother, Fred Jr., died in 1981 at the age of 43.[21] Trump's mother was a Scottish immigrant, born on the Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland,[22] while Trump's paternal grandparents were German immigrants.[23] His grandfather, Frederick Trump ( Friedrich Drumpf), migrated to the United States in 1885 and became a naturalized United States citizen in 1892. Frederick married Donald's grandmother, Elisabeth Christ (October 10, 1880 – June 6, 1966),[24] at Kallstadt, Bavaria, Germany, on August 26, 1902. They had three children.

Trump attended the Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills, Queens, as did some of his siblings. At age 13 after he had some difficulties there, his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy (NYMA), hoping to direct his energy and assertiveness in a positive manner.[25] At NYMA, in rural New York, Trump earned academic honors,[citation needed] and played varsity football in 1962,[citation needed] varsity soccer in 1963,[citation needed] and varsity baseball from 1962 to 1964[citation needed] (baseball captain 1964[citation needed]).

Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years before transferring to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania because Wharton then had one of the few real estate departments in U.S. academia.[26] He graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.[27]

Business career[edit]

Trump began his career at his father's real estate company,[28] Elizabeth Trump and Son,[29] which focused on middle-class rental housing in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. One of Trump's first projects, while he was still in college, was the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, which his father had purchased for $5.7 million in 1962. Trump became intimately involved in the project and with a $500,000 investment, turned the 1200-unit complex with a 66 percent vacancy rate to 100 percent occupancy within two years.[citation needed] In 1972 the Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million.[30]

In 1971, Trump moved to Manhattan and became involved in larger building projects and utilized attractive architectural design to win public recognition.[8] He made plans to acquire and develop the old Penn Central for $60 million with no money down.[31] Later, with the help of a 40-year tax abatement from the New York City government, he turned the bankrupt Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt[32] and created The Trump Organization.[33]

The New York City government had a plan to build the Javits Convention Center on property for which Trump held a right-to-buy option. Trump estimated his company could have completed the project for $110 million[34] but the city rejected his offer and Trump received a broker's fee on the sale of the property instead. The Wollman Rink in Central Park was started in 1980 with an expected 2½-year construction schedule but was nowhere near completion by 1986. Trump took over the management of the project, at no cost to the city, and completed it in three months for $1.95 million, which was $750,000 less than the initial budget.[35]

In 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International.[36] This expansion, both personal and business, led to mounting debt.[37]

By 1989, poor business decisions 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. Although he shored up his businesses with additional loans and postponed interest payments, by 1991 increasing debt brought Trump to business bankruptcy[37] and to 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 emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50 percent ownership in the casino to the original bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates on the debt and more time to pay it off.[38]

The late 1990s saw a resurgence in his financial situation. In 2001, he completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters.[39] Also, 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 owns several million square feet of prime Manhattan real estate.[40]

Trump has developed many real estate projects, such as Trump International Hotel and Tower – Honolulu, Trump International Hotel and Tower – Chicago, Trump International Hotel and Tower – Toronto, and Trump Tower – Tampa. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, one Trump construction project was put on hold in favor of another (Trump International Hotel and Tower – Fort Lauderdale). Meanwhile, Trump Towers – Atlanta is being developed in a housing market having the nation's second-highest inventory of unsold homes.[41]

In 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth at $4.1 billion.[2] In June 2015, Business Insider published a June 30, 2014, financial statement supplied by Trump. The statement reflects his net worth as $8.7 billion. Of that amount, $3.3 billion is represented by "Real Estate Licensing Deals, Brand and Branded Developments", described by Business Insider as "basically [implying] that Trump values his character at $3.3 billion".[42]

Business ventures and investments[edit]

The Trump Organization owns, operates, develops and invests in real estate around the world such as Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago.

Trump branding and licensing[edit]

Beyond his traditional ventures in the real estate, hospitality, and entertainment industries and having carved out a niche for the Trump brand within these industries, Trump has since then moved on to establish the Trump name and brand in other industries and products. Trump has succeeded in marketing the Trump name on a large number of products, including Trump Financial (a mortgage firm), Trump Sales and Leasing (residential sales), Trump Restaurants (located in Trump Tower and consisting of Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar), GoTrump (an online travel website),[43] Donald J. Trump Signature Collection (a line of menswear, men's accessories, and watches), Donald Trump The Fragrance (2004), Trump magazine, Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump home (home furnishings), Trump Productions (a television production company), Trump Institute, Trump The Game (1989 board game), Donald Trump's Real Estate Tycoon (a business simulation game), Trump Books, Trump Model Management, Trump Shuttle, Trump Ice, Trump Mortgage, Trump Vodka, and Trump Steaks. In addition, Trump reportedly receives $1.5 million for each one-hour presentation he does for The Learning Annex.[44]

In 2011, Forbes' financial experts estimated the value of the Trump brand at $200 million. Trump disputes this valuation, saying that his brand is worth about $3 billion.[45] Many developers pay Trump to market their properties and to be the public face for their projects.[46] For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name.[46] According to Forbes, this portion of Trump's empire, actually run by his children, is by far his most valuable, having a $562 million valuation. According to Forbes there are 33 licensing projects under development including seven "condo hotels" (the seven Trump International Hotel and Tower developments).

Net worth[edit]

In April 2011, amidst speculation whether Trump would run as a candidate in the US presidential election of 2012, Politico quoted unnamed sources close to him stating that, if Trump should decide to run for president, he would file "financial disclosure statements that [would] show his net worth [was] in excess of $7 billion with more than $250 million of cash, and very little debt."[47] (Presidential candidates are required to disclose their finances after announcing their intentions to run.) Although Trump did not run as a candidate in the 2012 elections, his professionally prepared 2012 financial disclosure was published in his book stating a $7 billion net worth.[48] Estimates of Trump's net worth have fluctuated along with real estate valuations: In 2015, Forbes listed it as $4.1 billion.[49] On June 16, 2015, just prior announcing his candidacy for President of the United States, Trump released professionally prepared financial disclosure statements to the media stating a net worth of almost $9 billion.[50] Some business journalists have expressed skepticism of the higher net worth estimate.[51]

Trump Tower[edit]

Trump Tower, at 725 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

Trump Tower is a 58-story mixed-use skyscraper at 725 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of East 56th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was developed by Trump and the Equitable Life Assurance Company. It is now just developed/owned by Donald Trump, and designed by Der Scutt of Swanke, Hayden Connell.[citation needed]

Stock market investments[edit]

In 2011, Trump made a rare foray into the stock market after being disappointed with the depressed American real estate market and facing poor returns on bank deposits. He stated that he wasn't a stock market person, but he also stated that prime real estate at good prices is hard to get. Among the stocks Trump purchased, he stated he bought stock in Bank of America, Citigroup, Caterpillar Inc., Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble.[7] In December 2012, Trump revealed that he also added shares of Facebook to his stock portfolio.[52]

Sports[edit]

In 1983 Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals for the inaugural season of the United States Football League (USFL). Trump tried to lure legendary coach Don Shula from the Miami Dolphins. Legend has it that Shula asked for a condominium in Trump Tower as part of his deal and Trump balked at the prospect. Once Shula declined, the Generals hired former New York Jets head coach Walt Michaels. Prior to the inaugural season Trump sold the franchise to Oklahoma oil magnate J. Walter Duncan. Prior to the 1984 season, Duncan sold the team back to Trump.[53]

The USFL planned to play its 1986 schedule in the fall, directly opposite the NFL, thanks mostly to Trump's strong advocacy of direct competition with the older, established league. Two years earlier, Trump sold most of his fellow owners on a move to the fall by arguing that it would eventually force a merger with the NFL—in which the owners of any USFL teams included in a merger would see their investment more than double.

The Generals merged with the Houston Gamblers during the extended offseason, adding such stars as quarterback Jim Kelly and wide receiver Ricky Sanders. Michaels was fired, replaced with former Gamblers coach Jack Pardee, who planned to bring the Gamblers' high-powered run and shoot offense with him. However, the USFL's "Dream Team" never took the field. The 1986 season was cancelled after the USFL won a minimal verdict in an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL; the league folded soon afterward.

Trump at one time acted as a financial advisor for Mike Tyson,[54] hosting Tyson's fight against Michael Spinks in Atlantic City.[55]

Following the death of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. in March 2014, Trump expressed public interest in purchasing the team. When speaking to the media, Trump has made it clear that should he purchase the team, the Bills would remain in Buffalo.[56] Ultimately, the team was sold to Kim and Terrence Pegula in September 2014.[57]

Golf[edit]

Turnberry Hotel, Ayrshire, Scotland

The Trump Organization operates many golf courses and resorts in the United States and around the world.[58] On February 11, 2014, it was announced that Trump had purchased Doonbeg Golf Club in the Republic of Ireland. It was confirmed that Doonbeg Golf Club would be renamed Trump International Golf Links, Ireland.[59] In 2006, Trump bought the Menie estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland creating a golf resort.[60] In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota.[61][62] In June 2015, Trump's appeal objecting to an offshore windfarm (Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm) within sight of the golf links was denied.[63]

Beauty pageants[edit]

On July 2, 2015, Trump announced he had warded exclusive rights to air the Miss Universe and Miss USA Pageants to Reelz Channel, after NBC and Univision cancelled.[64] The Miss Universe Organization has been owned by Donald Trump since 1996 and the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) became a partner in 2003. In June 2015, NBC had announced it would not air the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants due to Trump's comments regarding illegal immigration during the launch of his presidential campaign.[65][66] Univision announced the previous week that it would no longer air the pageants for the same reason.[65]

Entertainment media[edit]

Trump with Dennis Rodman during the latter's participation on The Apprentice.

In the media, Donald Trump is 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, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.[67]), and as a character (The Little Rascals). He has been the subject of comedians, Flash cartoon artists, and online caricature artists. Trump also has his own daily talk radio program called Trumped!.[68][69][70][71]

In March 2011, Trump was the subject of a Comedy Central Roast. The special was hosted by Seth MacFarlane, and roasters included Larry King, Snoop Dogg, and Anthony Jeselnik among regular roast participants. Trump's daughter Ivanka was seen in the audience. In April 2011, Trump attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner, featuring comedian Seth Meyers. President Obama used the occasion to present several prepared jokes mocking Trump.[72]

The Apprentice[edit]

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. Contestants were successively "fired" and eliminated from the game. In 2004, Donald Trump filed a trademark application for the catchphrase "You're fired."[1][2][3]

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 currently[when?] paid a reported $3 million per episode, making him one of the highest paid TV personalities.[citation needed] In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to television (The Apprentice).

Along with British TV producer Mark Burnett, Trump also put together The Celebrity Apprentice, in which well-known stars compete to win money for their charities. While Trump and Burnett co-produced the show, Trump stayed in the forefront, deciding winners and "firing" losers.

In February 2015, Trump opted not to renew his television contract for The Apprentice, generating speculation of his eventual run for President of the United States in 2016.[73]

World Wrestling Entertainment[edit]

Trump is a known World Wrestling Entertainment fan and friend of WWE owner Vince McMahon. He has hosted two WrestleMania events in the Trump Plaza and has been an active participant in several of the shows.[74] 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"). Trump was interviewed by Jesse Ventura ringside at WrestleMania XX.[75]

He also appeared at WrestleMania 23 in a match called "The Battle of the Billionaires".[74] Trump was in the corner of Bobby Lashley, while Vince McMahon was in the corner of Lashley's opponent Umaga with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee.[74] The stipulation of the match was hair versus hair, which means that either Trump or McMahon would have their head shaved if their competitor lost.[74] Lashley won the match, and he and Trump shaved McMahon bald.[74]

On June 15, 2009, as part of a storyline, McMahon announced on Monday Night Raw that he had "sold" the show to Trump.[74] Appearing on screen, Trump declared he would be at the following commercial-free episode in person and would give a full refund to the people who purchased tickets to the arena for that night's show.[74] McMahon "bought back" Raw the following week for twice the price.[74] His entrance theme "Money, Money" was written by Jim Johnston.

Trump was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 at Madison Square Garden for his contributions to the promotion. He made his fifth WrestleMania appearance the next night.[76]

Politics[edit]

Donald Trump speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 27, 2015.

A 2011 report by the Center for Responsive Politics showed that over two decades of U.S. elections, Donald Trump made contributions to campaigns of both Republican Party and Democratic Party candidates.[77] In February 2012, Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president of the United States.[78] Trump was an early supporter of Ronald Reagan for president of the United States.[79]

At the 2011 CPAC conference, Trump stated that he is "pro-life" and "against gun control."[80][81][82] He has spoken before Tea Party supporters.[83][84][85] Trump has expressed fear that vaccines may be linked to autism.[86][87][88] In May 2015, Trump opposed giving President Obama fast track trade authority for the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.[89] Instead, he has called for stronger negotiations with China on trade and tariffs if necessary.[90][91][92] Trump has advocated a policy of stronger leadership to deal with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which he has blamed for high oil prices.[93][94]

Trump floated the idea of running for president in 1988, 2004, and 2012, and for governor of New York in 2006 and 2014, but did not enter those races.[95][96] He ran for the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000, winning the party's California primary.[97][98][99][100] As Trump publicly speculated about seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March 2011 found Trump leading among potential contenders, one point ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.[101] A Newsweek poll conducted in February 2011 showed Trump within a few points of Barack Obama, with many voters undecided in the November 2012 general election for president of the United States.[102] A poll released in April 2011 by Public Policy Polling showed Trump having a nine-point lead in a potential contest for the Republican nomination for President of the United States while he was still actively considering a run.[103][104] His moves were interpreted at the time by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice.[105][15][106] On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president.[15] Public Policy Polling described the events of May 2011 as "one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of presidential politics".[107] In December 2011, Donald Trump was named among the top six of the ten most admired men and women living, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll.[108]

In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC),[16] and spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States.[17] In October 2013, New York Republicans had circulated a memo suggesting Trump should run of governor of the state in 2014 against Andrew Cuomo. Trump said that while New York had problems and taxes were too high, running for governor was not of great interest to him.[109] In February 2015, Trump opted not to renew his television contract for The Apprentice, generating speculation that he might run for President of the United States in 2016.[73]

In January 2013, Trump (who is a notably popular figure in Israel)[110] endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 2013 Israeli elections, stating that "A strong prime minister is a strong Israel."[111][112] In 2015, Trump was awarded the 'Liberty Award' at the 'Algemeiner Jewish 100 Gala' in honor of his positive contributions to US-Israel relations.[113]

Presidential campaign, 2016[edit]

Trump formally announced his candidacy for president of the United States in the 2016 elections on June 16, 2015, from his headquarters in Trump Tower in New York City.[19][20] Trump launched his campaign declaring, "We are going to make our country great again" with a commitment to become the "greatest jobs president that God ever created".[20] Trump's announcement speech included the song "Rockin' in the Free World".[114]

Personal life[edit]

Donald Trump

Trump is popularly known as The Donald, a nickname perpetuated by the media after his first wife Ivana Trump, a native of the Czech Republic, referred to him as such in an interview.[115]

Trump's mother, Mary Anne, was born in 1912 at Tong, Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, off the coast of Scotland. In 1930, aged 18, on a holiday in New York, she met Fred Trump and stayed in New York. Born in Queens, New York,[116] Trump has four siblings: two brothers, Fred, Jr. (who is deceased) and Robert S. Trump; and two sisters, Maryanne and Elizabeth. His older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, is a federal appeals court judge.

In 1977, Trump married Ivana Zelníčková and together they have three children: Donald, Jr. (born December 31, 1977), Ivanka (born October 30, 1981), and Eric (born January 6, 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. In a February 2008 interview on ABC's news program Nightline, Trump commented on his ex-wives by saying, "I just know it's very hard for them (Ivana and Marla) to compete because I do love what I do. I really love it."

On April 26, 2004, he proposed to Melania Knauss, a native of Slovenia. Trump and Knauss 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.[117] Melania gave birth to a boy named Barron William Trump, Trump's fifth child, on March 20, 2006.[118][119]

Trump has seven grandchildren: five from his son Donald Jr. (Kai Madison,[120] Donald John III,[121] Tristan Milos,[122] Spencer Frederick and Chloe Sophia) and two from his daughter Ivanka (Arabella Rose and Joseph Frederick[123][124]).

Trump is a Presbyterian.[6] In an April 2011 interview, on the 700 Club, Trump said, "I'm a Protestant, I'm a Presbyterian. And you know I've had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion."[125][126] A February 2011 Politics Daily article described Trump as "apparently a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, which is a Presbyterian denomination".[127] Andrew Cusack in 2008 stated that Donald Trump is a member of New York City's Marble Collegiate Church. Explaining that church's organizational relationships, Cusack says "the Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church is actually a denomination within a denomination" and that the Collegiate Churches are "now part of the Reformed Church of America".[128] Marble Collegiate Church also states that it is denominationally affiliated with the Reformed Church in America,[129] with the RCA website stating that the RCA has a local church "presbyterian form of government".[130] Trump does not drink alcohol.[131] Of his daughter Ivanka's conversion to Judaism he said: “Not only do I have Jewish grandchildren, I have a Jewish daughter and I am very honored by that.”[132]

Legal affairs[edit]

Trump manages business financing as far as possible without placing himself at risk of personal bankruptcy.[133] Four of his businesses have declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[133][134] According to a 2011 report by Forbes, these were due to over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City: Trump’s Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009)[135][136] Trump said "I've used the laws of this country to pare debt. ... We'll have the company. We'll throw it into a chapter. We'll negotiate with the banks. We'll make a fantastic deal. You know, it's like on 'The Apprentice.' It's not personal. It's just business."[137] He indicated that other "great entrepreneurs" do the same.[135] Robert Reich took a critical view of his bankruptcy proceedings opining that "people with lots of money can easily avoid the consequences of bad bets" and are protected by limited liability in contrast to laid-off workers who "are stuck with the mess."[138]

Trump’s first corporate bankruptcy was in 1991 when Trump Taj Mahal was unable to pay its obligations.[137] Forbes indicated that his first bankruptcy was the only one where his personal wealth was involved. Time, however, maintains that also in the later 2004 bankruptcy $72 million personal money was involved.[139]

On November 2, 1992, the Trump Plaza Hotel filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 protection plan. Under the plan, Trump agreed to give up a 49 percent stake in the luxury hotel to Citibank and five other lenders.[140] 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.[141] Trump's name became a punchline for comedians, "associated with the worst of 1980s extravagance, egomania, and greed."[140]

In the subsequent restructuring of these two events Trump had eliminated a large portion of his $900 million personal debt by 1994[142] and reduced significantly his nearly $3.5 billion in business debt. While he was forced to relinquish the Trump Princess yacht and 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 the tract 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 of The West Side Yards gave him modest construction and management fees to oversee the development, and 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.[143] 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.

The third corporate bankruptcy was on October 21, 2004, when Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts announced a restructuring of its debt.[144] 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. Trump Hotels was 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[145] the company emerged from bankruptcy as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings.[146]

The most recent corporate bankruptcy occurred in 2009. On February 13, Trump announced that he would resign from the board of Trump Entertainment Resorts and four days later the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[147] At that time Trump Entertainment Resorts had three properties in Atlantic City: Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, and Trump Marina (sold in 2011). In early August 2014 Donald Trump filed a lawsuit requesting his name be removed from the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and the Taj Mahal facilities since he no longer runs or controls the company.[148] Trump Entertainment Resorts filed again for bankruptcy in 2014.[149]

In March 1990, after an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott said that Trump's Taj Mahal project would initially "break records" but would fail before the end of that year, Trump threatened to sue the firm unless the analyst recanted or was fired. The analyst refused to retract the statements, and was fired by his firm.[150] Taj Mahal declared bankruptcy for the first time in November 1990.[151] A defamation lawsuit by the analyst against Trump for $2 million was settled out of court.[152] The analyst's statements regarding the Taj Mahal's prospects were later called "stunningly accurate."[153]

In January 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought a financial-reporting case against Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc., alleging that it had committed several "misleading statements in the company's third-quarter 1999 earnings release." The matter was settled with the defendant neither admitting nor denying the charge.[154]

During the 2008 financial crisis Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago was unable to sell sufficient units. Lender Deutsche Bank refused to let Trump lower the prices on the units to spur sales. Arguing that the financial crisis and resulting drop in the real estate market is due to circumstances beyond his control, Trump invoked a clause in the contract to not pay the loan.[155] Trump then initiated a suit asserting that his image had been damaged. Both parties agreed to drop their suits, and sale of the units went on.[156]

In 2015 Trump initiated a $100 million lawsuit against Palm Beach County claiming that officials pressured the FAA to direct air traffic to the Palm Beach International Airport in a "deliberate and malicious" act over his Mar-A-Lago estate.[157] The air traffic is allegedly damaging the construction of the building and disrupting its ambience. Trump had previously sued twice over airport noise.[157]

Other controversies[edit]

In 1973, the Justice Department sued Trump Management Corporation for alleged racial discrimination, at which time Trump was the company's president.[158] The federal government filed the lawsuit against his New York City real estate company for discriminating against potential black renters.[159]

A 1991 book, Trumped!!, by John R. O'Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, claimed that Trump once said in reference to a black accountant at Trump Plaza: "laziness is a trait in blacks." O'Donnell claimed he told him: "Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day."[158][160] Trump responded that O'Donnell was a disgruntled employee.[158]

In April 2011, he questioned President Obama's proof of citizenship.[161] Trump also questioned whether Obama had good enough grades to warrant entry to Harvard Law School.[162] On April 25, 2011, Trump called for Obama to end the citizenship issue by releasing the long-form of his birth certificate.[163][164] Obama eventually made a formal statement in efforts by the White House to put the matter to rest with the release of the long-form of Obama's birth certificate on April 27, 2011.[165] Trump expressed pride at his role in the release of the long-form certificate in a press conference follow-up.[166]

On August 24, 2013, a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleged that Trump defrauded more than 5,000 people of $40 million, handed over for what was supposed to be the opportunity to learn Trump's real estate investment magic at his for-profit training program, Trump University.[167] Beginning in 2005, Trump University offered a program that began with a free introductory 90-minute presentation promising to teach Donald Trump's secrets that helped build his real estate empire.[167][168] On January 30, 2014, Judge Cynthia Kern trimmed some of the Attorney General's charges while authorizing the case to go forward.[169] In a separate class action case in mid-February 2014, a San Diego federal judge allowed claimants in California, Florida, and New York to proceed with a similar case.[170] In October 2014 a New York judge found Trump personally liable for operating the for-profit investment school, Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, formerly known as Trump University, in violation of state education laws.[171]

On June 5, 2013, Trump tweeted: "According to Bill O'Reilly, 80% of all the shootings in New York City are blacks-if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%, 1% white". Trump also tweeted: "Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics-a tough subject-must be discussed".[172][173]

In late October 2014, model Alexia Palmer filed a civil suit against Trump Model Management for promising a $75,000 annual salary but paying only $3,380.75 for three years' work. Palmer claims to be owed more than $200,000. Palmer charged that Trump Model Management, charged, in addition to a management fee, "obscure expenses" from postage to limousine rides that consumed the remainder of her compensation. Trump attorney Alan Garten claims the lawsuit is "bogus and completely frivolous."[174][175]

2015 Mexico comments[edit]

Trump attracted controversy with comments regarding undocumented immigrants while announcing his candidacy for the U.S. presidency at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 in New York City.[176] He said, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best. They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards, and they're telling us what we're getting."[176][177]

Reactions to comments[edit]

  • Univision announced it would no longer carry broadcasts of the Miss USA Pageant.[178] In response, Trump indicated the matter would be handled by legal action, and followed through by filing a $500 million lawsuit against Univision. The complaint asserts that Univision is attempting to suppress Trump’s First Amendment rights by putting pressure on his business ventures. [179]
  • Afterwards, the multinational media company Grupo Televisa severed ties with Trump,[182] as did Ora TV,[183] a television network partly owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who called Trump's comments on Mexicans "racist".[184]
  • Trump awarded exclusive rights to the Reelz Channel to broadcast the Miss Universe and Miss USA Pageants.[64]
  • Macy's also announced it would phase out its Trump-branded merchandise.[185]
  • Serta, a mattress manufacturer, also decided to drop their business relationship with Trump.[186].

Awards and honors[edit]

Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bibliography[edit]

Trump has authored many books including:

  • Trump: The Art of the Deal (1987)
  • Trump: Surviving at the Top (1990)
  • Trump: The Art of Survival (1991)
  • Trump: The Art of the Comeback (1997)
  • Trump: How to Get Rich (2004)
  • The Way to the Top: The Best Business Advice I Ever Received (2004)
  • Trump: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life (2004)
  • Trump: The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received (2005)
  • Why We Want You to be Rich: Two Men – One Message (2006), co-written with Robert Kiyosaki.
  • Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life (2007), co-written with Bill Zanker. (ISBN 978-0-06-154783-6)
  • The America We Deserve (2000) (with Dave Shiflett, ISBN 1-58063-131-2)
  • Trump: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received: 100 Top Experts Share Their Strategies (2007)
  • Trump 101: The Way to Success (2007)
  • Trump Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success (2008)
  • Think Like A Champion: An Informal Education in Business and Life (2009)
  • Trump Tower (2011) (a novel with Jeffrey Robinson, ISBN 978-1-59315-643-5)
  • Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don't (2011), co-written with Robert Kiyosaki. (ISBN 1-61268-095-X)
  • Time to Get Tough: Making America No. 1 Again. Regnery Publishing. December 5, 2011. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-59698-773-9. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Business positions
New title Chief Executive Officer of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts
1995–2004
Succeeded by
Robert Griffin