The following is part of an ongoing series presented by the Contently Foundation. Culled from the many books and magazine articles written about Donald J. Trump, this series aims to reveal some of the influences and qualities that form the character of the American president.
From “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” by Harry Hurt III (1993)
Hurt is a former New York Times columnist and Newsweek foreign correspondent who spent three years researching and writing “Lost Tycoon.” He interviewed more than 100 people for the book.
As Donald traverses the catwalk between the master bedroom and his private bathroom, he realizes, once again, that all this is not enough. Ever since he was a little boy, his father, Fred C. Trump, Sr., has been hammering the same lines into his head: “You are a killer…You are a king…You are a killer…You are a king…” Donald believers he can’t be one without the other. As his father has pointed out over and over again, most people are weaklings. Only the strong survive. You have to be a killer if you want to be a king. A case in point was Donald’s late brother, Fred Trump, Jr., a former airline pilot who ultimately drank himself to death after being emotionally crucified for not having joined the family real estate business.
“When somebody tries to push me around, when they’re after my ass, I push back a hell of a lot harder than I was pushed in the first place,” Donald informed Playboy. “If somebody tries to push me around, he’s going to pay a price.”
Donald is not impressed, however, with what he sees in the looking glass. In a few weeks he is slated to pose for a cover photograph for the March 1990 issue of Playboy, in which his interview with Glenn Plaskin will run. Donald will be the first male to appear on the magazine’s cover in nearly twenty years, a distinction certain to enhance his carefully cultivated image as a bussines-suited sex symbol. But Donald is so embarrassed by the sorry state of his physique that he wears undershorts and a T-shirt even when he is in bed. Thanks to a died of junk foods and an aversion to exercise, his waist, thighs, and buttocks have swollen as thick and spongy as giant doughnuts. And most disconcerting of all, as far as he’s concerned, he is losing the hair on the crown of his head.
Donald is determined to counteract the encroachments of middle age at almost all costs. In the past he tried to control his weight with prescription diet pills supplied by a physician whose office is just a few short blocks from Trump Tower. But the diet pills, whose pharmacologic activity is similar to that of amphetamines, made the already frenetic Manhattan mogul a holy terror both at home and at the office. Donald is now mulling a new approach to weight control: having a doctor remove his fat by means of liposuction. He is also thinking about undergoing an even more radical-sounding procedure called scalp reduction, supplemented by a hair transplant, to cover his bald spot.
“The worst thing a man can do is go bald,” he has warned one of his is top executives. “Never let yourself go bald.”