The Many Business Failures of Donald Trump – Rolling Stone
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The Many Business Failures of Donald Trump

He’s running for president (maybe) on his business record. One problem: that record sucks

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Rolling Stone's Eric Hedegaard sat down recently with real-estate mogul, Reality TV star and – who can tell? – presidential candidate Donald Trump for a profile that appears in the magazine's May 26, 2011 issue. When they get around to talking about Trump's presidential aspirations, the Donald barks, 'We need a businessman, and I've been successful.' But, as Hedegaard points out, Trump's business career is at least as remarkable for its colossal screwups – including multiple bankruptcies – as for its lucrative successes. Here, an incomplete roundup of Donald Trump's business failures.


Launched in 2006 under the slogan "success distilled," Trump Super Premium Vodka was destined  to make the T&T (Trump & Tonic) the most-ordered drink in the country. At least that was the idea. Sadly, the brand went kaput in 2010, having "failed to meet the threshold requirements."

Related: One Top-Notch Novelty Act: A Conversation with Donald Trump by Eric Hedegaard

mattypantaloons via flickr

Trump: The Game

In 1989, Trump went in with Milton Bradley on Trump: The Game, a real estate-themed board game a la Monopoly. It sold about 800,000 copies, well short of the 2 million Trump had forecast, and was discontinued. (In 2004, figuring to capitalize on the success of The Apprentice, Hasbro released a reboot of the game, complete with the slogan "You're Fired!" on the cover.)

Related: One Top-Notch Novelty Act: A Conversation with Donald  Trump by Eric Hedegaard

Mario Tama/Getty

Trump University

Not so much a university as a series of seminars, Trump University charges students $35,000 for a 'gold seminar' imparting the secrets of Donald Trump's success. Students nationwide have complained about TU's misleading marketing claims. Former students in California have filed a class-action lawsuit, and the Texas Attorney General's Office had opened up an investigation into possible deceptive trade practices against Trump University, dropping it only after Trump University told the AG they would stop doing business in Texas.

Related: One Top-Notch Novelty Act: A Conversation with Donald  Trump by Eric Hedegaard

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images, Ron Galella/WireImage

Trump Entertainment Resorts

Trump Entertainment Resorts runs Trump Plaza, Trump Marina, and Trump Taj Mahal hotels and casinos in Atlantic City, N.J. But though his name is plastered all over the town, Trump himself exited the company in 2009, shortly before it declared bankruptcy for the third time. By that time, the Donald had gained a rep for honoring his debts late, when he honored them at all. "There are plenty of bankers you could find that would not do business with Donald Trump again," says Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine."

Related: One Top-Notch Novelty Act: A Conversation with Donald  Trump by Eric Hedegaard

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