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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 City
Residence
Alma mater Fordham University (transferred)
University of Pennsylvania
Occupation
Years active 1968–present
Salary $250 million[3][4]
Net worth Increase US$4.1 billion (Forbes 2015)[5]
Political party Republican (Before 1999; 2009–11; 2012–present)
Reform Party (1999–2001)[6]
Democratic (2001–09)[7]
Independent (2011–12)[8]
Religion Presbyterianism[9]
Spouse(s) Ivana Zelníčková (1977–92)
Marla Maples (1993–99)
Melania Knauss (2005–present)
Children Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany, and Barron
Parent(s)
Website Official website
Signature
Donald Trump Signature.svg

Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American real estate magnate, television personality, politician and author. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts.[1] Trump's lifestyle and outspoken manner, as well as his books and his media appearances, have made him an American celebrity. He hosted The Apprentice,[2] a U.S. television program on NBC. He has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump is a son of Fred Trump, a New York City real estate developer.[10] Donald Trump 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.[11] He was given control of the company in 1971, renaming it The Trump Organization.[12][13] Trump remains a major figure in the real estate industry in the United States and a media celebrity.[14]

In 2010, Trump expressed an interest in becoming a candidate for President of the United States in the 2012 election,[15][16] but in May 2011, he announced he would not run.[17] He was a featured speaker at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC),[18] and, in the same year, began researching a possible presidential bid in the 2016 election.[19][20] On June 16, 2015 at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Trump formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2016 election, seeking the nomination of the Republican Party.[21][22] Trump's early campaigning has seen him catapult to high levels of support. As of the end of July 2015, he is consistently at or near the top of the polls for the Republican Party nomination, much to the consternation of established Republican leaders, and the surprise of many commentators.[23][24]

Early life and education

Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in the borough of Queens in New York City, one of five children of Mary Anne (née MacLeod) and Fred Trump, who had married in 1936. His oldest brother, Fred Jr., died in 1981 at the age of 43.[25] Trump's mother was a Scottish immigrant, born on the Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland,[26] and Trump's paternal grandparents were German immigrants.[27] His grandfather, Frederick Trump ( Friedrich Drumpf), immigrated 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),[28] at Kallstadt, then Kingdom of Bavaria (since August 30, 1946: Rhineland-Palatinate), Germany, on August 26, 1902. They had three children.

While living in Jamaica Estates, Trump attended the Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills, Queens, where Fred Trump, Donald's father, was a member of the Board of Trustees. Some of his siblings also attended Kew-Forest. At age 13, after behavior problems led to his dismissal, his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy (NYMA), hoping to direct his energy and assertiveness in a positive manner.[29]

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 studies departments in US academia.[30] He graduated in 1968, with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and anthropology.[31]

Trump came of age for the draft during the Vietnam Conflict. In an interview in 2011 on New York station WNYW,[32] he stated, "I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number."[33] Selective Service records retrieved by "thesmokinggun.com" from NARA records show that, although Trump did eventually receive a high selective service lottery number, he was not drafted earlier because of his student deferments (2-S) while attending college, and after receiving a medical deferment (1-Y, later converted to 4-F) prior to the lottery being initiated.[34]

Business career

Trump began his career at his father's real estate company,[35] Elizabeth Trump and Son,[36] 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. The Trumps became involved in the project and with a $500,000 investment, turned the 1,200-unit complex with a 66 percent vacancy rate to 100 percent occupancy within two years. In 1972, the Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million. Donald's involvement with the project was to perform some landscaping and menial labor.[37]

In 1971, Trump moved to Manhattan and became involved in larger building projects and used attractive architectural design to win public recognition.[10] He made plans to acquire and develop the old Penn Central for $60 million with no money down.[38] 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[39] and created The Trump Organization.[40]

New York City 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[41] but the city rejected his offer and Trump received a broker's fee on the sale of the property instead. Repairs on The Wollman Rink in Central Park (built in 1955) were 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.[42]

In 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal Casino in a transaction with Merv Griffin and Resorts International.[43] This expansion, both personal and business, led to mounting debt.[44]

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[44] 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.[45]

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.[46] 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.[47]

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 of Trump's construction projects was put on hold in favor of another (Trump International Hotel and Tower – Fort Lauderdale). Meanwhile, Trump Towers Atlanta One was developed in a housing market having the nation's second-highest inventory of unsold homes.[48]

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".[49] In July 2015, the Federal election regulators released new details of his wealth and financial holdings when he became a Republican presidential candidate.

Business ventures and investments

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

Beyond his traditional ventures in the real estate, hospitality, and entertainment industries, Trump has established 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),[50] 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.[51]

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.[52] Many developers pay Trump to market their properties and to be the public face for their projects.[53] For that reason, Trump does not own many of the buildings that display his name.[53] 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

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."[54] (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.[55] Estimates of Trump's net worth have fluctuated along with real estate valuations: In 2015, Forbes listed it as $4.1 billion.[56] 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.[57] In July 2015, the Federal election regulators released new details of his wealth and financial holdings when he became a Republican presidential candidate, reporting that his assets are worth above $1.4 billion, which includes at least $70 million in stocks, and he carries a debt of at least $265 million.[3][4][58]

Trump Tower

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

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, Procter & Gamble.[59] and Facebook.[60] On selling stock picks in 2014, Trump earned a $27 million profit, with 40 of the 45 stocks he purchased generating a profit in 2014.[61]

Sports

In 1983, Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals for the inaugural season of the United States Football League (USFL). 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.[62]

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,[63] hosting Tyson's fight against Michael Spinks in Atlantic City.[64]

Golf

Turnberry Hotel, Ayrshire, Scotland

The Trump Organization operates many golf courses and resorts in the United States and around the world.[65] 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.[66] In 2006, Trump bought the Menie estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland creating a highly contentious golf resort.[67][68] In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota.[69][70] In June 2015, Trump's appeal objecting to an offshore windfarm (Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm) within sight of the golf links was denied.[71]

Beauty pageants

Further information: Miss USA and Miss Universe

Donald Trump has owned the Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants since 1996. Among the most recognized beauty pageants in the world, the pageant was founded in 1952 by the California clothing company Pacific Mills.

In 2015, NBC and Univision both ended their business relationships with the Miss Universe Organization after Trump's presidential campaign kickoff speech on June 16, in which he stated:

"The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."[72]

Trump subsequently filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision alleging a breach of contract and defamation. Cable network Reelz then acquired the rights to exclusively telecast the Miss USA pageant.[73][74]

Entertainment media

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.[75]), and as a character (The Little Rascals). He has been the subject of comedians, Flash cartoon artists, and online caricature artists. Trump also had his own daily talk radio program called Trumped!.[76][77][78][79][80]

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.[81]

The Apprentice

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 July 2015, Trump reported in his personal financial disclosure statement with the Federal Election Commission that NBCUniversal had paid him $213,606,575 for his 14 seasons of hosting the show.[82] In 2007, Trump received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to television (The Apprentice).[83]

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.

On February 16, 2015, NBC announced that they would be renewing The Apprentice for a 15th season.[84] 11 days later, Trump stated that he was "not ready" to sign on for another season because of the possibility of a presidential run.[85] Despite this, on March 18, NBC announced they were going ahead with production.[86] On June 29, after widespread negative reaction stemming from Trump's campaign announcement speech, NBC released a statement saying, "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump," apparently ending Trump's role in The Apprentice.[87]

World Wrestling Entertainment

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.[88] 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.[89]

He also appeared at WrestleMania 23 in a match called "The Battle of the Billionaires".[88] 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.[88] 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.[88] Lashley won the match, and he and Trump shaved McMahon bald.[88]

On June 15, 2009, as part of a storyline, McMahon announced on Monday Night Raw that he had "sold" the show to Trump.[88] 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.[88] McMahon "bought back" Raw the following week for twice the price.[88] 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.[90]

Politics

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 US elections, Donald Trump made contributions to campaigns of both Republican Party and Democratic Party candidates.[91] In February 2012, Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president of the United States.[92] Trump was an early supporter of Ronald Reagan for president of the United States.[93]

In April 2011, he questioned President Barack Obama's proof of citizenship.[94] Trump also questioned whether Obama had good enough grades to warrant entry to Harvard Law School.[95] On April 25, 2011, Trump called for Obama to end the citizenship issue by releasing the long-form of his birth certificate.[96][97] Two days later, Obama 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.[98] Trump expressed pride at his role in the release of the long-form certificate in a press conference follow-up.[99]

Donald Trump has spoken before Tea Party supporters.[100][101][102] In December 2008, Trump emerged as an early supporter of the 2009 government backed rescue plan for the US auto industry which by 2012 was supported by 56% of Americans (63% support in Michigan), according a Pew Research Center poll.[103][104] Statements of Trump's hinting that vaccination would cause autism were subject to criticism in various media by the scientific community.[105][106] He has also been criticized for climate change-denying statements, because they are discordant with the opinion of the scientific community.[107]

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.[108][109] He ran for the presidential nomination of the Reform Party in 2000, winning the party's California primary.[110][111][112][113] 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.[114] 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.[115] 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.[116][117] His moves were interpreted by some media as possible promotional tools for his reality show The Apprentice.[17][118][119] On May 16, 2011, Trump announced he would not run for president.[17] Public Policy Polling described the events of May 2011 as "one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of presidential politics".[120] 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.[121]

In January 2013, Trump (who is a notably popular figure in Israel,[122] where his name is attached to products sometimes without his permission)[123] released a video endorsing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 2013 Israeli elections, stating that "A strong prime minister is a strong Israel."[124][125] In 2015, Trump was awarded the 'Liberty Award' at the 'Algemeiner Jewish 100 Gala' in honor of his positive contributions to US–Israel relations.[126] Trump stated: "I have so many friends in Israel."[127]

In 2013, Trump was a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).[18] The speech was not well-attended.[128] He spent over $1 million to research a possible run for president of the United States.[19] In October 2013, New York Republicans had circulated a memo suggesting Trump should run for 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.[129] 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.[130]

Presidential campaign, 2016

Donald Trump campaigning at the Laconia Rally, Laconia, New Hampshire.

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.[21][22] Trump launched his campaign declaring the official slogan, "We are going to make our country great again" with a commitment to become the "greatest jobs president that God ever created".[22][131] A survey conducted by The Economist/YouGov released July 9, 2015 became significant as the first major nationwide poll to show Trump as the 2016 Republican presidential frontrunner.[132] A Suffolk/USA Today poll released on July 14, 2015 showed a 17% support for Trump among Republican voters, with runner-up Jeb Bush picking up 14%.[133] A Washington Post-ABC News poll taken on July 16–19 showed trump had 24% Republican support, over Scott Walker at 13%.[134] A CNN/ORC poll showed Trump in the lead at 18% support among Republican voters, over Jeb Bush at 15%.[135][136]

Personal life

Donald Trump

Trump is popularly known as The Donald, a nickname perpetuated by the media after his first wife Ivana Trump referred to him as such in an interview.[137]

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,[138] 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, a native of the Czech Republic, 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.[139] Melania gave birth to a boy named Barron William Trump, Trump's fifth child, on March 20, 2006.[140][141]

Trump has seven grandchildren: five from his son Donald Jr. (Kai Madison,[142] Donald John III,[143] Tristan Milos,[144] Spencer Frederick and Chloe Sophia) and two from his daughter Ivanka (Arabella Rose and Joseph Frederick[145][146]).

Trump is a Presbyterian.[9] 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."[147][148]

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."[149]

Legal affairs

Four of Trump's businesses have declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[150] 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)[151][152] 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."[153] He indicated that other "great entrepreneurs" do the same.[151]

Trump’s first corporate bankruptcy was in 1991 when Trump Taj Mahal was unable to pay its obligations.[153] 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 of his personal money was involved.[154]

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.[155] 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.[156]

In the subsequent restructuring of these two events, Trump had eliminated a large portion of his $900 million personal debt by 1994[157] and reduced significantly his nearly $3.5 billion in business debt. While he relinquished 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. Trump sold his ownership of West Side Yards to Asian developers as a result of his negotiations with Chase Manhattan Bank. Trump was reportedly paid a premium for placing his well known moniker on the buildings that eventually arose. In 1995, he combined his casino holdings into the publicly held Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. The real estate assets became a source of wealth even when profits had struggled.[158]

The third corporate bankruptcy was on October 21, 2004, when Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts announced a restructuring of its debt.[159] 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 opted to relinquish his CEO position but retained a role as Chairman of the board. In May 2005[160] the company emerged from bankruptcy as Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings.[161]

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.[162] 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.[163] Trump Entertainment Resorts filed again for bankruptcy in 2014.[164]

In 1973, the Justice Department unsuccessfully sued Trump Management Corporation for alleged racial discrimination, at which time Trump was the company's president.[165] The federal government filed the lawsuit against his New York City real estate company for allegedly discriminating against potential black renters to which Trump never admitted, the case was settled out of court in 1975.[166]

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.[167] Taj Mahal declared bankruptcy for the first time in November 1990.[168] A defamation lawsuit by the analyst against Trump for $2 million was settled out of court.[169] The analyst's statements regarding the Taj Mahal's prospects were later called "stunningly accurate".[170]

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.[171]

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.[172] 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.[173]

On August 24, 2013, a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose claims were dismissed by the Manhattan Superior Court, had accused Trump of defrauding more than 5,000 people of $40 million for the opportunity to learn Trump's real estate investment techniques in a for-profit training program, Trump University.[174][175][176] On January 30, 2014, the New York court dismissed all of the Attorney General's fraud claims against Trump, allowing only the licensing aspect of the case to proceed.[177] In October 2014, the New York court found Trump only liable for not obtaining a license to operate the for-profit investment school, Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, formerly known as Trump University.[178] In a separate class action civil suit in mid-February 2014, a San Diego federal judge allowed claimants in California, Florida, and New York to proceed.[179]

In August 2014, former 2012 Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin ultimately settled a $5 million defamation judgment leveled against her, having been sued by Trump after alleging that Miss USA 2012 pageant results were rigged. Monnin wrote on her Facebook page that another contestant told her during a rehearsal she had seen a list of the top five finalists, and when those names were called in their precise order, Monnin realized the pageant election process was suspect, compelling Monnin to resign her Miss Pennsylvania title. Trump's lawyer said that Monnin's allegations had cost the pageant a lucrative British Petroleum sponsorship deal and threatened to discourage women from entering Miss USA contests in the future.[180] According to Monnin, testimony from the Miss Universe Organization and Ernst & Young revealed that the top 15 finalists were selected by pageant directors regardless of preliminary judges' scores.[181] As part of the settlement, Monnin was not required to retract her original statements.[180] "Standing on truth has cost me much," Monnin said.[182]

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".[183][184]

In 2015, Trump initiated a $100 million lawsuit against Palm Beach County claiming that officials, in a "deliberate and malicious" act, pressured the FAA to direct air traffic to the Palm Beach International Airport over his Mar-A-Lago estate.[185] The air traffic is allegedly damaging the construction of the building and disrupting its ambience. Trump had previously sued twice over airport noise.[185]

In 2015, Trump initiated a $10 million lawsuit against José Andrés claiming that he backed out of a deal to open the flagship restaurant at Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C..[186]

Awards and honors

Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Bibliography

Trump has written 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), co-written with Kate Bohner.
  • 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)
  • 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

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Further reading

External links

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