I was born with a name that just sort of worked for me. It worked on buildings; it’s concise; it’s a winning card. And I was able to take that name and do very important things with it. If my name was Joe Blow, it just wouldn’t have played the same way that Trump does.
I grew up in Queens, and Manhattan was always where I wanted to be someday, because that’s where all the great towers were. It was something I aspired to. I never like to idolize people, because I know how fragile the whole thing is. But I always respected the great business leaders of the past and seemed to be attracted to that. And I always respected the great characters. But I was never really one that liked idolizing flesh and blood.
I had a lot to do with the rebuilding of New York and maybe the rebuilding of the image of New York, which is almost as important. People treat me with great respect, and in some cases love. They try to hug; they touch; they do other things. Not only are the people in New York exciting, but I think you have many of the most beautiful people in New York.
I think you have the most beautiful women in the world in New York, too, and for somebody like me, that’s not such a bad thing. New York is a very romantic city, and in terms of the beauty and the going out and the whole scene, there’s just no place like it – and that includes for dates and dating. I think it is hard to stay married, because there is so much diversity, tension, excitement, and lots of other things. So I think it’s probably a tough place to stay married, but at the same time it’s a very exciting place to be.
In New York, you have the best of lives, the worst of lives, and some in between. You look at the wealthiest people in the world living in one section, and literally within eyesight you have people that are not doing so well. Sometimes people ask me for money. And usually these are people who are suffering some very serious problems, but sometimes they will ask – and sometimes I’ll help. Look, people have problems.
Interviewed by Nancy Jo Sales