Chapter 6. Fall and Comeback

Project by project, acquisition after acquisition, newspaper article after article, Donald Trump was becoming a celebrity. He seemed to have everything going for him. “To be young, blond, and a billionaire,” Playboy wrote fawningly of Trump in its March 1990 edition. Young he was, a mere 43 years old when the magazine wrote those words. Blond he was (and blond he remained, even in 2004, at the age of 58, thanks to hair coloring). And a billionaire he was, as Forbes put his net worth at $1.7 billion in 1989. As the 1980s progressed, he was on his way to becoming a true celebrity; less because of business success and more because of the way he visibly played the role of a billionaire.

At every turn, he deployed a strategy ...

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