Three weeks ago, The ENQUIRER launched a blockbuster multipart series written exclusively for our readers by Donald Trump. In this issue, the real estate mogul and “Celebrity Apprentice” creator – who’s running for the White House – makes his move to the heart of the Big Apple, is hit by tragedy and finds remarkable success.
I made my big move to Manhattan in 1971, renting a studio apartment on the Upper East Side.
The place looked out on a water tank. I jokingly referred to it as “my penthouse.”
In 1976 I met my first wife Ivana, who gave me three wonderful children – Donny, Eric and Ivanka.
A few years later, my Trump Organization purchased the old Commodore Hotel on 42nd Street. Half the building was in foreclosure. But I proposed creating a 1,400- room hotel.
The Grand Hyatt opened in 1980. It was the same year my big dream came true.
Chase Bank provided financing for the construction of my flagship 68-story Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
After gambling was legalized in Atlantic City, I rolled the dice on a casino, Trump Castle, and in 1986, we grossed $226 million.
But after that success, something terrible and unexpected happened.
On the morning of Oct. 10, 1989 I went to the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan to host a press conference. Three of my top executives sat next to me – Stephen F. Hyde, Mark Etess and Jonathan Benanav. After the press conference they were going to Atlantic City in a helicopter. I almost went with them for the 45-minute flight, but decided there was too much to do in the office that day.
About an hour-and-a-half later, a call came telling us the chopper had gone down on the Garden State Parkway. All three were killed along with the pilot and co-pilot.
On top of that, Ivana and I divorced after 12 years of marriage. I learned life is fragile. Nothing can protect you from life’s tragedies.
When my marriage to Ivana went stale after 12 years, I married Marla Maples in 1993, which also didn’t last. And I faced a rough financial crisis – in fact, I was in debt for billions!
What saved me was what separates winners from losers – you can’t panic and you have to be confident as you face the world each day. And, deep down, you can’t be too cocky.
I had to face my challenges and make tough decisions under the glare of a white-hot spotlight. But I would come back even bigger and find even greater love.
My partner is my exquisite wife Melania. Despite her great beauty, she is a very calm and soothing person who has brought a sense of stability to my very turbulent life. I am lucky to be with her!
And I am thankful for my children – my kids are the greatest!
I also created the TV hit “The Apprentice” with the catchphrase, “You’re fired!”
Total strangers walk up, point their fingers at me and say: “You’re fired!” Then they laugh like crazy and announce to their companions: “I just fired The Donald!”
I love hosting the show, and it doesn’t feel like work.
If you want advice, here it is: Follow your own path, because it will bring you to the places you were meant to be. And look at the big picture – think on a big and grand Trump scale!
And I guess there’s one thing left. I’m amazed by how often people ask me whether or not I wear a hairpiece.
The answer, for the record, is emphatically and categorically “NO!” My hair is 100 percent mine. No animals have been harmed in the creation of my hairstyle!