Donald Trump: From Casino Magnate to Presidential Candidate

Posted by: on Sep 14, 2015 | No Comments

Donald Trump came to be known all over the world for his sardonic humor and his magnetic personality when he starred in the famous television show, The Apprentice. Having first aired in 2004, the show ran for 14 seasons in two formats, The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice. The reality television show was stylized as a job interview and consisted of two teams of professionals who vied for the top position. The person who survived all the eliminating rounds won a contract to run one of the many illustrious Trump ventures, while the others would be “fired” by Mr. Trump himself. The show went a long way in establishing Mr. Trump as the most coveted employer in America and resulted in a generation of youngsters seeking to build a career in real estate.


The Early Years

Born to Frederick C. and Mary McLeod Trump in June 1946, Donald Trump could be said to have his life’s course charted out for him in the very beginning. His father was an eminent builder and real estate developer, who specialized in middle-income apartments in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. After having attained a degree in Economics in 1968, from the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania, Donald Trump went on to join the family business, Trump Organization. However, he would go on to take the business to bigger heights than had ever been conceived of by his father or brothers.

The Trump Empire

Not unlike the ancient kings, whose first strategy in expanding their empire was to shift their capital, Donald Trump shifted the base of Trump Organization to Manhattan in 1971. This would turn out to be a wise move indeed, as he came to know of many influential people there who could direct the course of the business. One of his first successful moves was to obtain an option contract on the Pennsylvania railroad yards on the west side of Manhattan, where he was able to successfully deliver a city convention center. In 1974, he went on to obtain yet another lucrative option contract on a hotel called Commodore, which, in partnership with Hyatt Hotel Corporation, he transformed into the current day Grand Hyatt. He had a penchant for seeing through complicated deals, which made him as controversial as he was successful. In 1979, he rented a prominent site on Fifth Avenue, next to the famous Tiffany & Co, and built a monumental $200 million retail complex, which was called The Trump Tower when it was launched in 1982.

Becoming a Casino Magnate

With the legalization of gaming in New Jersey in 1977, Trump saw huge potential in Atlantic City and was able to realize it when he acquired a property in 1980. He initially partnered with Holiday Inns Corporation and opened a $250 million complex, called Harrah’s, at Trump Plaza in 1982. He then proceeded to buy out Holiday Inns in 1986 and renamed the facility Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. He also obtained a Hilton Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City and renamed it Trump’s Castle. However, he only established himself as the casino king when he opened the world’s largest casino-hotel, the Taj Mahal, in 1990. However, the 90s did not bode well for this real estate giant, whose decline began with the bursting of the real estate bubble. Although he surfaced financially in the late nineties, he knew he would have to diversify in order to maintain his position.

Other Ventures

And diversify he did – into various fields. He is the owner of the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League since 1983 and the owner of Miss Universe and Miss USA Beauty pageants since 1996. He held stakes in WWE and owns golf courses across the world, including his latest acquisition in Ireland. He has made several appearances on television, the most memorable of which remains The Apprentice. He also went on to make a fortune in the stock markets and brand licensing. Even as his four main hotel-casinos in Atlantic City declared bankruptcy, it was no wonder that he managed to keep his head above the water.

President of USA?

Donald Trump has toyed with politics for several decades and floated the idea of running for President in 1988, 2004 and 2012, before finally declaring his candidature on June 16, 2015. He declared his commitment to making the USA great again and to become “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” That is sure to resonate with the masses, who idealize him as the greatest employer and a stark example of the American dream come true.

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