Donald Trump

Trump became an iconic figure, helping define a new generation of celebrity tycoons whose success was built as much on maintaining an image of success as on financial savvy. He set out to own as much New York City real estate as possible and to redesign the New York skyline.

Donald Trump graduated from the Wharton School of Finance in 1968 and began working alongside his father, a millionaire property developer in Queens, New York. After revitalizing an Ohio apartment complex and realizing a $6 million profit, Trump moved to Manhattan to begin building his real estate empire.Trump, Donald

Donald Trump.

(AP/Wide World Photos)

Trump’s first major deal was optioning Real estate industrythe Penn Central Railroad yard as a building site for the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (1979-1986). Trump was disappointed that he was not allowed to name the center after himself. In 1979, he leased a site next to Tiffany’s and erected a $200 million apartment-retail complex, Trump Tower. This signature building was the first Trump-branded property in New York.

During the 1980’s, Trump branched out into Casinoscasino ownership and continued developing the Marketing;Donald Trump[Trump]Trump brand. By 1986, he owned three of the world’s largest casinos: Trump’s Taj Mahal, Trump’s Marina, and Trump Plaza.

In 1990, Trump’s personal fortune dropped from $1.7 billion to $500 million, with $900 million of debt. His business debt reached nearly $3.5 billion, and Trump’s Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza were both forced to file for bankruptcy. However, by 1997, Trump had recovered and was worth more than $2 billion. In 2008, Trump owned more than 18 million square feet of Manhattan real estate as well as golf clubs, resorts, casinos, and other properties throughout the United States. He continues to develop the Trump brand throughout the world.

A very public and charismatic personality, Trump became a best-selling author, producer and host of the television show The Apprentice, co-owner with the National Broadcasting Company of the Miss Universe Organization, and chief executive officer of many consumer product lines, including men’s clothing. Like his buildings, Trump’s products are emblazoned with the Trump name and benefit from his brand recognition.

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