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Donald Trump: A Profile

Published On: 15 Mar 2011 | Last Updated On: 22 Mar 2011

Born on June 14, 1946, in New York in USA, Donald Trump is a business magnate, socialite, author and television personality. He is the Chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization, a US-based real-estate developer. Trump is also the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which operates numerous casinos and hotels across the world. 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 (where he serves as host and executive producer). Donald Trump is considered a possible candidate for President of the United States in 2012.


Trump attended Fordham University for two years before transferring to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in economics and concentration in finance, he joined his father's real estate company. After $500,000 investment, Donald successfully turned a 1200-unit complex with a 66% vacancy rate to 100% occupancy within two years. In 1971 Trump moved his residence to Manhattan, where he became convinced of the economic opportunity in the city, specifically large building projects in Manhattan that would offer opportunities for earning high profits, utilizing attractive architectural design, and winning public recognition.


Trump was involved in successful real estate projects such as old Penn Central yards, Commodore Hotel (converted to new Grand Hyatt), Javits Convention Center, Wollman Rink in Central Park, etc. in the state of New York. Trump was also involved with the old USFL, a competitor to the NFL, as owner of the New Jersey Generals. In addition, Trump at one time acted as a financial advisor for Mike Tyson, and he hosted Tyson's fight against Michael Spinks in Atlantic City. 


By 1989, the effects of recession left Trump unable to meet loan payments. Trump financed the construction of his third casino, the $1 billion Taj Mahal, primarily with high-interest junk bonds. Although he shored up his businesses with additional loans and postponed interest payments, by 1991 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 the risk of losing more money in court. The Taj Mahal re-emerged from bankruptcy on October 5, 1991, with Trump ceding 50% ownership in the casino to the original bondholders in exchange for lowered interest rates on the debt and more time to pay it off.


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