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Donald Trump is a real estate mogul and billionaire. He is also owner of Trump Plaza and host of the NBC reality series, The Celebrity Apprentice.
Donald Trump - Trump Tower (1:32)
Merv Griffin - Full Biography (43:50)
Rosie O'Donnell - Full Episode (45:18)
This biography of Donald Trump focuses on his beloved Trump Tower building in New York City.
Donald Trump, celebrity entrepreneur, watched his Taj Mahal Casino lose revenue and saw the Trump Organization stare down bankruptcy while he was divorcing Ivana Trump.
Merv Griffin, America's ultimate showman, knew what audiences wanted and made it his life's work to entertain with his talk show and his game shows "Wheel of Fortune," and "Jeopardy."
The full Biography episode on the life of Rosie O'Donnell.
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Real estate developer Donald John Trump was born June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York. In 1971 he became involved in large profitable building projects in Manhattan. He opened the Grand Hyatt in 1980, which made him the city's best known and most controversial developer. In 2004 Trump began starring in the hit NBC reality series The Apprentice, which also became an offshoot for The Celebrity Apprentice.
"Going through tough times is a wonderful thing, and everybody should try it. Once."
Donald John Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York, the fourth of five children of Frederick C. and Mary MacLeod Trump. Frederick Trump was a builder and real estate developer who came to specialize in constructing and operating middle-income apartments in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Donald Trump was an energetic, assertive child, and his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy at age 13, hoping the discipline of the school would channel his energy in a positive manner. Trump did well at the academy, both socially and academically, rising to be a star athlete and student leader by the time he graduated in 1964. He entered Fordham University and then transferred to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics.
Trump seems to have been strongly influenced by his father in his decision to make a career in real estate development, but the younger man's personal goals were much grander than those of his senior. As a student, Trump worked with his father during the summer and then joined his father's company, the Trump Organization, after graduation from college. He was able to finance an expansion of the company's holdings by convincing his father to be more liberal in the use of loans based on the equity in the Trump apartment complexes. However, the business was very competitive and profit margins were narrow. In 1971 Donald Trump moved his residence to Manhattan, where he became familiar with many influential people. Convinced of the economic opportunity in the city, Trump became involved in large building projects in Manhattan that would offer opportunities for earning high profits, using attractive architectural design and winning public recognition.
When the Pennsylvania Central Railroad entered bankruptcy, Trump was able to obtain an option on the railroad's yards on the west side of Manhattan. When initial plans for apartments proved unfeasible because of a poor economic climate, Trump promoted the property as the location of a city convention center, and the city government selected it over two other sites in 1978. Trump's offer to forego a fee if the center were named after his family, however, was turned down, along with his bid to build the complex, which was ultimately named for Senator Jacob Javits.
In 1974 Trump obtained an option on one of the Penn Central's hotels, the Commodore, which was unprofitable but in an excellent location adjacent to Grand Central Station. The next year he signed a partnership agreement with the Hyatt Hotel Corporation, which did not have a large downtown hotel.
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