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Empire and ego

This morning I stumbled upon an old New York Times article from August 7, 1983 called: The Empire and Ego of Donald Trump.

Here’s an excerpt you might find interesting:

The essence of entrepreneurial capitalism, real estate is a business with a tradition of high-rolling megalomania, of master builders striving to erect monuments to their visions. It is also typically dynastic, with businesses being transmitted from fathers to sons and grandsons, and carried on by siblings. In New York, the names of Tishman, Lefrak, Rudin, Fisher, Zeckendorf come to mind.

And now there is Trump, a name that has in the last few years become an internationally recognized symbol of New York City as mecca for the world’s super rich.

“Not many sons have been able to escape their fathers,” said Donald Trump, the president of the Trump Organization, by way of interpreting his accomplishments. Three of them, built since 1976, stand out amidst the crowded midtown landscape: the 68- story Trump Tower, with its six-story Atrium housing some of the world’s most elegant stores; the 1,400- room Grand Hyatt Hotel, and Trump Plaza, a $125 million cooperative apartment. And more is on the way.

“At 37, no one has done more than I in the last seven years,” Mr. Trump asserted.

As I read this, 3 things came to mind.

1) One could argue that, as real estate development institutionalizes, the megalomanic and dynastic nature of the business is being somewhat muted.

2) I hope we are well beyond the point where a “dynasty” has to be transmitted only through men. We are, right?

3) Trump sounded the same at 37.

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