The Turbulent Times of Donald Trump

By Stephane Fitch
Reprinted from Forbes Inc., Oct. 9, 2006

At 60, Donald Trump is preparing for the day when he turns the family real estate empire over to his son Don Jr. and daughter Ivanka. He has taught them well.

From the outset, in the 1970s, the developer always has aimed high, but in the early 1990s he came crashing down. Then he clawed his way back and today has his name all over, even if others are assuming the risk for him.

1946: Developer Fred C. Trump and his wife have new son, Donald.

1976: Trump proposes to reconstruct Commodore Hotel adjacent to Grand Central Terminal into luxury hotel with tax help from New York City, enraging several competing hotel operators.

1978: Sells stake in hotel to Hyatt, breaks ground.

1979: Buys Bonwit Teller Building on Fifth Avenue and picks up enough air rights to replace it with 68-story tower.

1980: Preservationists, art lovers outraged as Trump sledgehammers beloved sculptures on Bonwit facade to make way for Trump Tower.

1982: Trump gets casino license in New Jersey.

1983: Trump forms New Jersey Generals football team for nascent USFL pro league.

1984: Trump proposes world's tallest building on landfill at South Street Seaport in Manhattan. (Building never breaks ground.)

1984: Trump sues architecture critic of "Chicago Tribune," Paul Gapp, for $500 million for his negative article on world's-tallest-building plan.

1985: Trump proposes to erect domed stadium for New Jersey Generals next to Shea Stadium in Queens.

1986: NYC gives Trump okay to rebuild Central Park's ailing Wollman ice rink; rink reopens just months later.

1987: Trump calls New York City mayor Ed Koch a "moron" for impeding his plan to develop TV studios for NBC; weighs bid for mayoral race.

1987: Trump considers bid for Bally casinos.

1988: Wins right to host Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks boxing match; says he'll advise Tyson on career and financial matters.

1988: Trump buys Eastern Air Lines shuttle.

1988: Trump signs on to sponsor of Tour de Trump cycling stage race in U.S.

1989: Trump and Lorimar Television discuss developing syndicated game show "Trump Card." (Show never airs.)

1990: Trump announces his marriage to former Czech Olympic skier Ivana Trump is "no longer working out"; begins dating model Marla Maples publicly.

1990: Trump opens Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.

1990: Trump's purchase of Plaza Hotel across from Central Park fails to meet expectations, cover interest payments.

1990: Trump borrows to make payments to casino bondholders.

1990: Trump buys Dutch shipyard, sells it two months later.

1990: Trump hires Stephen Bollenbach to sort out debt problems, partly dismantle empire.

1991: Trump and Maples get engaged.

1992: Taj Mahal wobbles out of bankruptcy.

1993: Maples gives birth to Trump daughter Tiffany couple marries at Plaza Hotel.

1995: Trump sells glamorous Plaza Hotel at loss; buys vacant landmark, 40 Wall Street.

1997: With GE Capital, redevelops Gulf & Western office building into Trump International Hotel & Tower condo-hotel.

1997: Separates, divorces Maples.

1998: Unveils controversial design for residential skyscraper near U.N.

1999: Trump's father, Fred, dies.

2003: With producer Mark Burnett launches first season of "The Apprentice."

2004: Demolishes Chicago Sun-Times Building to make way for 92-story hotel condo; names "Apprentice" winner "owner's representative" on project.

2005: Trump cedes chief executive title of casino company after bankruptcy and

2005: Weds Melania Knauss in Florida.

2005: Launches Martha Stewart "Apprentice" spinoff. Later canceled by NBC.

2006: Melania Trump gives birth to son, Barron William. Trump says name is "pretentious--but I'm pretentious, so why shouldn't he be?"

2006: Launches several condo hotel developments. Among them: Trump Ocean Club, Panama; Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico; Trump Las Olas, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and Trump Tower Waikiki, Hawaii.

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