Media Institutions

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Major Press Profiles

  • 1984: The inaugural issue of a magazine called Sports Financial Network featured a profile of Trump as its cover story. “Dick Barnett was known as a brainy sort during his 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association, and now, a decade after he retired from the Knicks, he is out to share some of his insights with those he believes could use them most - his fellow professional athletes. He is the publisher of a new magazine, Sports Financial Network, which is designed to help athletes - both active and retired - cope with the financial decisions and other problems that Barnett believes few of them are equipped to deal with on their own. […] The magazine made its debut with a 32-page September-October issue that included a primer on tax planning, advice on how to choose an agent, tips on diet, an article on the dangers of cocaine and a cover story on Donald Trump.” (New York Times, December 24, 1984)
  • 1986: Trump was profiled by the television newsmagazine “60 Minutes” “In a repeat broadcast, ‘60 Minutes’ profiles real estate investor Donald Trump, visits a group of plastic surgeons who volunteer their services to Third World countries and looks at the campaign to ban smoking in public places, 7 p.m. (2)(8).” (Los Angeles Times, June 28, 1986)
  • 1986: Trump was featured in the cover story of an issue of Palm Beach Life magazine. “Speaking of Donald Trump, his baby face adorns the cover of July's Palm Beach Life magazine. Quite an unusual sight. You can count on two hands the number of ‘cover fellows,’ as managing editor Kathleen Hansen Moran calls them, who have made the cover in the past 20 years. Trump shares that honor with Lord Lichfield, Frank McMahon, Cliff Robertson (with wife Dina Merrill), Mort Sachs (with wife Rose) and Gov. Bob Graham. Inside the mag, the New York developer tells writer Nancy Beth Jackson about his purchase of Mar-a-Lago, saying, ‘I thought I was buying a museum. I never thought it was going to be a particularly comfortable place ... it has turned out not only to be a museum, but also a very comfortable home.’ As she interviewed Trump in the 118-room Palm Beach mansion, Jackson notes, Lee Iacocca passed by every few minutes. He was searching for a tunnel to the beach.” (Miami Herald, June 30, 1986)
  • December, 1987: Donald Trump was featured on the cover of People magazine with a feature about his wealth and extravagant spending. “Well, well, well, just when we thought we had heard all the superlatives to describe Donald Trump, along comes People magazine with a whole new set. The Dec. 7 cover's blurb about the boy wonder is indeed enticing: ‘Tycoon Donald Trump proves you can be TOO DARN RICH.’ […] Author Michael Ryan just oozes with awe and gushes with praise for Trump and more than adequately describes his toys -- a Super Puma jet helicopter, a Boeing 727 and possibly the world's finest yacht, formerly owned by Adnan Khashoggi.” (Miami Herald, December 2, 1987)
  • January, 1988: A book review of Donald Trump’s biography in Fortune magazine described him as a “phony” who was “constitutionally incapable of telling the truth. “Fortune (Jan. 4) - Reviewing developer Donald Trump's new, self-serving biography, it wonders whether ‘Trump is a real phony or just a phony.’ It concludes that he's ‘just a phony’ who may be ‘constitutionally incapable of telling the truth.’” (Chicago Tribune, December 23, 1987)
  • 1988: A profile of Donald Trump by Liz Smith was published in an anniversary issue of New York magazine. “Twenty years ago there sprang from the loins of the New York Herald Tribune the magazine called New York. […] New York is going all out to celebrate the 20th anniversary -- these galas seem to be a magazine disease nowadays -- with four issues of reminiscing and stock-taking. […] This week (April 25), to conclude the birthday party, New York proves that old habits die hard. The magazine that has done so much over the years to make lists of the best and biggest and worst and richest the addiction of editors everywhere presents ‘The Top 20: The Most Important New Yorkers,’ in which provocative writers take the measure of New York giants: William F. Buckley Jr. on Ed Koch, Roger Rosenblatt on Mario Cuomo, Liz Smith on Donald Trump, Wendy Wasserstein on Joseph Papp, and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. on Woody Allen, for pete's sake.” (Washington Post, April 19, 1988)
  • 1989: Trump was the featured cover story in the summer edition of Fame magazine. “The summer issue of Fame, the magazine dedicated to just that, gets deadly serious with an analysis by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Zucchino of anti-apartheid activist Winnie Mandela's peculiar behavior of late. Even the cover piece on Donald Trump is marginally meaty.” (Los Angeles Times, June 2, 1989)

Surveys and Rankings

  • 1985: Donald Trump was contrasted unfavorably to Mort Zuckerman by the magazine Saturday Review in a feature grouping various public figures and brands into “romantic” and “unromantic” categories. “There is no question in the advertising world that sex sells and the August cover of Saturday Review, of all magazines, shouts out the headline ‘Sex Sells!’ complete with a beautiful blond model in a white bathing suit on a rocky beach with the surf roiling in the background. It looks a lot like the annual swimsuit cover of Sports Illustrated. The best part of the cover story is a listing of the romantics and the unromantics. In this list, developer/publisher Mort Zuckerman is romantic, while developer Donald Trump is not.” (Washington Post, July 1, 1985)
  • 1986: Playgirl listed Donald Trump as one of the ten sexiest men in America in a list that also featured Bob Dole and Garrison Keillor. “September's Playgirl magazine would agree that politics and sex do mix, as it lists Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole as one of this year's 10 sexiest men in America. Joining him on the list are actors Bruce Willis, Don Ameche, Michael J. Fox; comedian Billy Crystal; sports figures Lou Piniella and William (The Refrigerator) Perry; musician Ruben Blades; storyteller Garrison Keillor and developer Donald Trump. According to Playgirl editor Tommi Lewis, ‘this is the year of the 'thinking woman's' sex symbol. Each choice represents a sexuality that extends way beyond physical attributes.’” (Washington Post, August 6, 1986)
  • 1987: Donald Trump was ranked among the top ten biggest egomaniacs in America by M magazine. “‘We live in a moment when boundless self-esteem is not only tolerated,’ says the magazine M, ‘but in most circles encouraged.’ Therefore, it decided to have a little fun making fun of a few score of what it calls the most notable egomaniacs of our age, even going so far as to assemble the Top 10 Egos: Lee Iacocca, Dan Rather, Henry Kissinger, Donald Trump, Mario Cuomo, Robert Wilson, Oral Roberts, Bill Cosby, George Steinbrenner and Shirley MacLaine. Dick Cavett and Jerry Lewis were inexplicably left out, but also-rans include Mayor Ed Koch of New York, ‘the longest-running vaudeville act in politics,’ and Jack Paar, ‘who's firmly convinced that everything he's ever said was interesting" and who "now seems to think that his stories about how interesting he used to be are interesting.’” (Los Angeles Times, July 3, 1987)
  • 1988: Donald Trump was featured on a list of the best-dressed celebrity men. “Jack Nicholson's sunglasses and devilish grin and Doc Severinsen's splashy clothes earned them each a spot on a list of sartorially splendid men as chosen by the makers of Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch. The list also includes Tom Wolfe, Wynton Marsalis, David Letterman, Ted Danson, Bill Cosby, Ralph Lauren, Donald Trump and Jim Palmer, the baseball star who went on to promote underwear.” (Washington Post, June 18, 1988)
  • 1988: Rolling Stone placed Donald Trump on it’s end-of-year-list of “folls, fakes and fiends we hope to see less of next year.” “The annual run of end-of-the-year lists has started. Rolling Stone is out with its rogues' gallery for 1988, which the magazine describes as ‘a fabulous year for the rich and shameless.’ Among the ‘fools, fakes and fiends we hope to see less of’ next year are billionaire acquisitor Donald Trump; the Rev. Al Sharpton and his discredited charge, Tawana Brawley; discredited Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson; discredited evangelist Jimmy Swaggart; ‘pop-culture vulture’ Albert Goldman; White House lame ducks Ronald and Nancy Reagan; the unhappy family of Robin Givens, Mike Tyson and Ruth Roper; and vice president-to- be Dan Quayle. The magazine features a picture of a smiling Quayle marching in formation in golf shoes with a golf bag slung over his shoulder.” (Miami Herald, November 25, 1988)
  • 1988: The Boring Institute ranked Donald Trump as one of America’s most boring celebrities. “Bill Cosby -- best-selling author, TV syndication kingpin and owner of the world's loudest sweater collection -- was handed another moniker today by the Boring Institute: the Year's Most Boring Celebrity. […] Other bores of 1988 named by the organization, in order: Donald Trump (‘Forget conspicuous consumption; Don is just too conspicuous for any reason.’); Mike Tyson (‘Get back in the ring.’); Bruce Springsteen (‘for publicly dumping his wife’); Elvis Presley (‘Let's get this straight -- Elvis is dead. Pushing up daisies. Deceased.’); Geraldo Rivera (‘the King of Trash TV’); Cybill Shepherd (‘She's beautiful. She has twins. And we need a vacation from her.’); David Letterman (‘just as dippy as Cher and Shirley MacLaine think he is’); and Jimmy Swaggart (‘The next time this guy gets near a pulpit, sirens ... should go off.’).” (Miami Herald, December 19, 1988)
  • 1988: A survey of 15,000 women reportedly found Trump was considered one of America's "most watchable" men. “Donald Trump's name seems to end up nearly everywhere, so why not on the list of the year's 10 most watchable men. Suzy Mallery, president of the 15,000-member Manwatchers Inc., which draws up the annual list, said the attributes necessary for the top 10 include attractiveness and success. Trump certainly is successful. ‘Good manners and communication are equally essential’ to making the list and Trump knows how to communicate. Also in the top 10 are John F. Kennedy Jr. and singer Kenny Rogers, and the remainder of the list, as one might expect, is made up of actors.” (Washington Post, December 28, 1988)