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Donald Trump
Early years

Donald John Trump, Sr. was born June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York. He is of German, Scottish and Swedish ancestry. When he was thirteen, his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy hoping to channel his energy and assertiveness in a positive manner. Trump attended Fordham University before transferring to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in economics, he joined his father's real estate company. Trump moved to Manhattan in 1971.

In his book, 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 of Finance 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."

Career

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. In the 1970s he benefited from the financially strained New York city government's willingness to give tax concessions in exchange for investment at a time of financial crisis.

Donald Trump initially gained publicity for his lifestyle and several buildings bearing his name, which he has developed on Manhattan. He is popularly known by his nickname "The Donald", given to him by ex-wife Ivana Trump. He is also known as "A Schoolboy's Dream" and "A Competitor's Challenge," partly for his self-styled definition of a prolific American business executive. Due to his outspokenness and media exposure, he is an easily recognizable public figure whose distinctive comb over is the subject of humor by comedians such as David Letterman.

Starting with the renovation of the Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt, he continued on with Trump Tower and several other residential projects. He would later expand into the airline industry and Atlantic City casino business. This expansion, both personal and business, lead to mounting debt. Much of news about him in the early 1990's involved his much publicized financial problems, creditor-led bailout, extramarital affair with Marla Maples and the resulting divorce from his first wife Ivana Trump.

Donald Trump
Bankruptcy

By 1990, the effects of recession left him unable to meet loan payments. Although he shored up his businesses with additional loans and postponed interest payments, increasing debt brought Trump to business bankruptcy and the brink of personal bankruptcy. Banks and bond holders had lost hundreds of millions of dollars, but opted to restructure his debt to avoid risking losing even more in a court fight. Things were so bleak for Trump at this time that in the 21 August 1990 edition of the Jersey Record, columnist Mike Kelly wrote "If we still had debtors' prisons, Trump would be in the dungeon." Kelly added that "Donald Trump is a Third World Nation." Also in 1990, he co-produced the game show Trump Card in syndication.

By 1994, Trump had eliminated a large portion of his $900 million personal debt and reduced significantly his nearly $3.5 billion in business debt. While he was forced to relinquish the Trump Shuttle (which he had bought in 1989), he managed to retain Trump Tower in New York City and control of his three casinos in Atlantic City. Chase Manhattan Bank, (which lent Trump the money he needed to buy the West Side yards, his biggest Manhattan parcel) forced a sale of the 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 kept Trump on to do what he did best: build. They gave him a modest construction fee and a management fee to oversee the development. They also allowed him to put his name on the buildings that eventually rose on the yards because his well-known moniker allowed them to charge a premium for their condos.

In 1995, he combined his casino holdings into the publicly held Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. Wall Street drove its stock above $35 in 1996, but by 1998 it had fallen into single digits as the company remained profitless and struggled to pay just the interest on its nearly $2 billion in debt. Under such financial pressure, the properties were unable to make the improvements necessary for keeping up with their flashier competitors.

In 1999, Donald's father Fred Trump, a multi-billion dollar real estate mogul, died. Fred Trump, the same man who cosigned Donald's first business loans, also happened to be the man who enabled Donald to escape from the massive financial morass he had created over the decades. Unfortunately, creditors who got stuck with the past losses were not as fortunate. Whereas Donald walked away from his empire unscathed, others were forced to take catastrophic writeoffs and losses even up to 2004, when Trump refused to continue to back his casino. Although Trump boasted he would build a bigger empire than his father, in the end, his father built an empire so large it could even accommodate Donald's most lavish personal losses.

Problems loomed for Trump's casino resorts. In a May 28, 2004 Wall Street Journal article, Trump said the spectre 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 says he owns about $44,000 of the bonds," said Trump "has the Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads." On October 21, 2004, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts announced a restructuring of its debt. The plan called for Trump's individual ownership to be reduced from 56 percent to 27 percent, with bondholders receiving stock in exchange for surrendering part of the debt. Since then, Trump Hotels has been forced to seek voluntary bankruptcy protection to stay afloat. As a result of his company filing for Chapter 11 Protection, in May of 2005 Trump relinquished his CEO Position to James B. Perry.

Net worth

The Forbes 400 list of 2005 estimates that Donald Trump's net worth at $2.7 billion. This places him in 83rd place. Trump himself claims to be worth over $5 billion. However, on October 26, 2005, The New York Times published an investigation into the history of Trump's net worth which suggested that the figures stated by Forbes have regularly been several times greater than his actual worth, even though they have been much lower than Trump's own estimates. Additionally, in Wayne Barret's book, "Trump: The Deals and the Downfalls," it is reported that an outside auditor reported that Trump "seriously over-valued" his assets. Further, in the recent book "Trump Nation," author Tim O'Brien makes a convincing case that Trump's worth is around $150 million to $250 million.

Donald Trump
Charitable giving

Critics of Donald Trump have found fault with him for his charitable gifts totalling $287,000 in 2002 and $306,000 in 2001 – given his large claimed net worth, they feel he did not give enough.

Critics include The Smoking Gun website: "While those low six figures would be exemplary for an average American, it's a remarkably paltry figure – not to mention pathetic – for someone who's reportedly worth ten figures." The Smoking Gun goes on to add "Even the 2001 terrorist attacks couldn't get the attention of the New York native's foundation, which reported no donations to 9/11 related charities."

In April 2006, Trump announced that he was donating 436 acres that have been appraised at $100 million. Trump purchased the land for $2 million in the 1990s and had initially considered using the land for projects such as golf courses and a housing development. The land is divided into two locations along the Taconic State Parkway.

Politics

Donald Trump has twice seriously attempted to run for President of the United States. In 1996, he ran in the Republican primaries, before dropping out. In 1999, Trump quit the Republican Party, in preparation for a presidential campaign as a Reform party candidate. Trump eventually decided against running in the 2000 campaign after the party disintegrated into factionalism.

Trump's political views are largely centrist. He is pro-choice regarding abortion and supports gay rights, Social Security privatization, and tax cuts. In 2004, Trump expressed opposition to the Iraq War but claims to have still voted for Bush due to his tax cut policy. Trump has contributed to both Republicans and Democrats, having donated slightly more money to Democratic candidates. In the first 6 months of 2005, he gave almost $20,000 to political campaigns, all but $2000 to Democrats. Senators he has recently supported include Hilary Clinton and Chuck Schumer of New York, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and John McCain of Arizona. He also refused to favor one candidate over the other in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election giving $2,000 to both George W. Bush and John Kerry.

Trump has recently attacked the official "Freedom Tower" plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center, claiming the plan to be "a pile of crap", and claims that most New Yorkers want the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center rebuilt, with a symbolic 111 stories, one story taller than the original predecessors (the "Twin Towers 2" plan). He claims they would be taller, better, stronger, cheaper and safer than the proposed " Freedom Tower "; however, there is skepticism that the Twin Towers II proposal will actually replace the Freedom Tower plan and be built. In a recent CNN poll over 63% of voters wanted to see Trump's plan go into action.

In late 2005, New York State Republicans attempted to win back Trump and put him forth as the Republican candidate for Governor in 2006. However, Trump refused and in a shocking move, endorsed Democrat Eliot Spitzer, who holds a huge lead over all his potential Republican opponents.

Brand name & other activities

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 Ice (Bottled Water), Disposable Cameras (Sold at Trump), Trump Vodka (Available Soon), Trump Magazine.

In 2005, Donald Trump launched Trump University, a business education company.

In January 2006, Trump launched GoTrump.com, an Online travel website. In his own words, GoTrump.com is a site dedicated to "The Art of the Travel Deal".

Donald Trump
Television & entertainment involvement

In 1990, Trump's Atlantic City casino was used for the game show "Trump Card", produced by Fielder-Berlin. In 1994, Trump guest starred as the father of Waldo in "The Little Rascals". In 1995, Trump also appeared as a guest star on "The Nanny".

For a disconcetingly long time, Tump was parodied in Berke Breathed's long-running politicla cartton strip, Bloom County. In this incarnation, he had been hit by an anchor. With his body damamged, his brain was placed inside the body of Bloom COunty 's most disgusting character, Bill the Cat. As a penniless cat, his relationship with Ivana becam long-distance and he continually searched for new ways to make money – even redecorating Roach Hotels. By the end of the series, he had bought the entire strip and fired all of the rest of the characters, replacing them with cartoon versions of Ivana and himself. However, in Breathed's next series, Outland, Bill had returned ot his original good-natured lunatic state. To commemorate his part in Bloom County, the last collected edition of strips had the quote 'I never thought Berke Breathed had talent, so he was probably forced to quit.' – as said by Trump Himself.

In 2004, 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. The winner of the program is "hired" into The Trump Organization with a 1-year "introductory" contract with a salary exceeding $250,000. At the end of each episode, Trump eliminated one contestant by telling them, "You're fired," which became a somewhat popular catch phrase. For the first year of the show Trump was paid a mere $50,000 per episode (roughly $700,000 for the first season), but following the show's initial success, he is now paid a reported $3,000,000 per episode ($48 million USD if the job interview lasted for 16 weeks), making him one of the highest paid TV personalities.

In 2004, Trump became the headliner at The Learning Annex Real Estate Wealth Expo in New York. He was reportedly paid $1,000,000 for his one hour seminar. Since then he has appeared at 6 more similar expos for The Learning Annex: New York (again), Chicago, Los Angeles (twice), and San Francisco. There are six more expos scheduled this year and twenty in 2007. Trump is planning to speak at all of them and collect $1,000,000 per show. As part of a promotion campaign for his Apprentice reality show, Trump hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live on April 3, 2004. He spoofed his show in some of the skits.

Trump has also been included in numerous television commercials over the years obtaining him a $1 million fee for a Pizza Hut commercial in the 1990s, a $3 million fee for a Domino's Pizza commercial in 2005 as well as a $5 million fee for his Visa Card commercial the same year.

A Muppet of Donald Trump also appears in an episode of the 36th season of Sesame Street, alongside grouch Muppet Donald Grump. Trump also guest starred on an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when he almost buys their mansion for his nephew. The episode, called "For Sale by Owner", was episode 25 in the show's 4th season.

At the 2005 Emmy Awards, he sang the theme song for the classic TV series Green Acres. He wore a farmer's outfit and held a rake in his hand while singing the song. He won the award for "Best Emmy Idol" for his performance, which he shared with Will and Grace's Megan Mullally. He was referred to as "Diva Donald".

On March 30, 2005 he was co-host with Regis Philbin (in the absence of Kelly Ripa) on Live with Regis and Kelly. On September 27, 2005 Hollywood Records released "The Regis Philbin Christmas Album" where Trump and Philbin sing a duet of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". On October 24, 2005, Trump starred as himself on Days of Our Lives. On the show, he gave a donation to the Horton Foundation.

On February 27, 2006, Trump made an appearance on the game show Deal or No Deal, advising the contestant to take the banker's deal – the contestant took Trump's advice and ended up winning much more money. Recently, when asked who should win American Idol in 2006, Trump chose Katharine McPhee.

Family

Born to Mary MacLeod Trump, native of Stornoway, Outer Hebrides in Scotland, and the soon-to-be millionaire Fred Trump in 1946, 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 have one child, Tiffany (born October 13, 1993). They divorced on June 8, 1999.

On April 26, 2004, he proposed to Melania Knauss later Melania Knauss-Trump. 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. On September 27, 2005, the couple announced that Melania was pregnant with Trump's fifth child. Melania gave birth to a boy, Barron William Trump, on March 20, 2006. Barron William Trump was said to be 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches long at birth.

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Comments
donald trump
Written by 100 yrs on 2007-03-28 11:16:00
i think u are so koool u and ur hair
no title
Written by Everton Elliott on 2008-07-27 11:31:19
Dear Mr. Trump I have been working for eight years to develop a luxury residential, beach and golf resort community on the south coast of Jamaica. I have been working with the Jamaican government, who are impressed with the concept. The Commissioner of Land has now granted me permission to begin showing the estates to investors/developers. I partially grew up around the area. When my father was a fisherman, he had built a hut not far from the beach. This is where I would spend time with him on the weekends and holidays. The area is remarkable for its beautiful white sand beach, 40,000 plus acres of undeveloped land, and impressive caves, which are the most beautiful in the Caribbean. Very important, due to a recent change in government, I believe that we can introduce the very first casino on the island. In terms of air transportation; the government has now decided adding Vernamfield Airstrip, the project should begin in September of this year. This airstrip is about 15 miles away from the proposed area. This Airstrip was used as a US Naval Base during World War II. The strip was shut down years ago because it was used to airlift marijuana. I personally visited the site on 06/22/08 and it had piles of rubbish to prevent airplanes from landing. The next closest airport is about 1.5 hours away, which is similar to the distance of the Negril resorts from the Montego Bay airport. There is a well in the area, which indicates that a sufficient water supply could be established. I am looking to partner with developers and investors who can realize this beautiful beach and golf resort in a land of incredible natural beauty. I look forward to speaking with you. Everton Elliott 33 William St. P.O. Box 301 Mount Vernon, NY 10552 Ph: (914) 441-5829 Email: claventra@verizon.net
no title
Written by Donlad J. Trump on 2007-10-30 15:11:30
Thanks. I appreciate it.
no title
Written by IVANA"S TWIN on 2007-10-30 18:54:39
Hey donald...............ya kinda sexy!!!
=)
Written by =) on 2008-04-26 09:33:32
heyy donald u the man with the plan your such a good chump! ur the mr trump!
mentor
Written by vexxi on 2008-06-04 07:10:53
you are the mentor of all mentors...you're the reason I work hard in school and never miss an episode of the apprentice.way to go.i look up to you
 
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