Donald Trump's name is synonymous with New York hustle and money at the turn of the 21st century. Trump started young in his father's New York real estate business, and by the 1970s had made himself a Manhattan deal-maker, somehow talking banks and city government into financing his ambitious developments. He built the grandiose Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in 1982, and soon he moved into the casino business in New Jersey. Outspoken and flamboyant, Trump became a favorite of the press, and his multiple marriages and divorces were regular tabloid fodder.
(Trump was married to model Ivana Zelnicek from 1977-92 and to Marla Maples from 1993-99. He married his third wife, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, on 22 January 2005.) Trump went suddenly on the skids in 1990, finding himself over $900 million in debt and facing bankruptcy. But ever the dealmaker, he rebounded; by the year 2000 he was again worth over a billion dollars. He talked publicly about running for the U.S. presidency the same year, then decided against it. In 2004 he began playing the demanding boss-man in the hit NBC reality series The Apprentice,. ("You're fired," his ritualistic dismissal of the show's losers, became a popular catch-phrase.) His books include Trump: The Art of the Deal (1988), Trump: Surviving at the Top (1990), Trump: The Art of the Comeback (1997) and Trump: How to Get Rich (2004). ..
Extra credit: Trump's nickname is "The Donald"... Trump has three children with his wife Ivana: Donald Jr. (b. 1977), Ivanka (b. 1981) and Eric (b. 1984); he has one daughter with Maples, Tiffany (b. 1993); and he has a son with Knauss, Barron, born in March of 2006... Trump is famous for his objection to handshakes; a 1999 Time magazine article quoted him as saying "I think the handshake is barbaric... Shaking hands, you catch the flu, you catch this, you catch all sorts of things"...
August 20, 2007 -- DONALD Trump wants to try to whip the world's most famous trio of bimbos into shape and save their careers.
The Donald tells Page Six he's talking with Britney Spears about appearing on his upcoming "Celebrity Apprentice," and that Paris Hilton has also expressed an interest in being scrutinized by the mega-mogul. He's also planning to call Lindsay Lohan this week to see if she'd be willing to try to salvage her plummeting career on the show.
"We're negotiating with Britney right now. Can you imagine her doing it?" Trump told Page Six. "We're not sure what will happen. She's a [bleep]ing mess. And that little reality show she had did nothing. But she likes the idea of being on television and I think she'd be great." Hilton, he adds, "wants to be on, and we're thinking about it, but I don't know if we're going to do it."
And Lohan? "Another [bleep]ing mess. We haven't asked her yet, but I'm going to call her this week. It would a positive thing for her to do . . . for all of them," he says.
Hilton's spokesman, Mike Sitrick, said he wasn't aware of any deal but acknowledged that Trump and Paris's father, Rick Hilton, are friends. Reps for Spears and Lohan didn't get back to us.
In the meantime, Trump says he's already signed an eye-popping list of A-listers, B-listers and has-beens to be subjected to his notorious "You're Fired" treatment.
They include: Jim Cramer, Carmen Electra, Joan Rivers, Naomi Judd, George Foreman, original "Apprentice" villain Amorosa, Kimora Lee Simmons, Pete Rose, Dana Patrick, Tony Hawk and Jeff Gordon.
"There are more than a hundred others who want to be on the show," Trump said.
One big name who definitely won't appear is Rosie O'Donnell, who slung mud with Trump when she was on "The View." After Trump recently said he'd consider having her on, her rep shot back, "It will not happen in this lifetime or beyond."
In the celebrity version of "The Apprentice," the stars will raise money for various charities during the competition in which they vie to work for Trump.