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Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York) is an Emmy Award-nominated American business executive, entrepreneur, television personality and author. He is the CEO of Trump Organization, an American-based real estate developer, and the founder of Trump Entertainment, which operates several casinos. He received a great deal of publicity following the success of his reality television show, The Apprentice (in which he serves as both executive producer and host for the show). He is the son of Fred Trump who was a wealthy real estate developer based in New York City.
Donald Trump has gained notability for his celebrity lifestyle and his real estate successes, including several skyscrapers bearing his name. He is popularly known by his nickname "The Donald" given to him by ex-wife Ivana Trump. He is also known for his catchphrase "You're Fired" and his unique hair style. Due to his outspokenness and media exposure, Trump is an easily recognizable public figure.
Starting with the renovation of the Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt with the Pritzker family, he continued with Trump Tower in New York City and several other residential projects. Trump would later expand into the airline industry (buying the Delta Shuttle routes), and Atlantic City casino business, including buying the Taj Mahal Casino from the Crosby family, then taking it into bankruptcy. This expansion, both personal and business, led to mounting debt. Much of the news about him in the early 1990s involved his much publicized financial problems, creditor-led bailout, extramarital affair with Marla Maples, and the resulting divorce from his first wife, Ivana Trump.
The late 1990s saw a resurgence in his financial situation and fame. In 2001, he completed Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters. Also in 2001, 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 currently owns over 18 million square feet of prime Manhattan real estate.
He remains a major figure in the field of real estate in the United States and a current celebrity for his prominent role on American television reality show The Apprentice.
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. One of Donald's first projects, while he was still in college, was the revitalization of the foreclosed Swifton Village apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio--turning a 1200-unit complex with a 66% vacancy rate to 100% occupancy within a year. When the Trump Organization sold Swifton Village for $12 million, they cleared $6 million in profit. In the 1970s he benefited from the financially strained New York City government's willingness to give tax concessions in exchange for investments at a time of financial crisis, via the redevelopment of the bankrupt Commodore Hotel. He was also instrumental in steering the development of the Javits Convention Center on property he had an option on.
The development saga of the Javits Convention Center brought Donald Trump into contact with the New York City government when a project he'd estimated could have been completed by his company for $110 million ended up costing the city between $750 million to $1 billion. He offered to take over the project at cost but the offer was not accepted.
A similar situation would arise in the city's attempt to restore the Wollman Rink in Central Park--a project started in 1980 with an expected 2½-year construction schedule that was still, with $12 million spent, nowhere near completion in 1986. Trump offered to take over the job at no charge to the city, an offer that was initially rebuffed until it received much local media attention. Trump was given the job which he completed in six months and with $750,000 of the $3 million budgeted for the project left over.
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