How Donald Trump built his business empire
Excerpt: The Taj lost vast amounts of money, and Trump's fledgling casino empire spiraled into irreversible decline. Between 1991 and 2009, its holding company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy four times. But Trump was saved by the power of his own celebrity status, which he had built up through his books, media interviews, and calculated leaks to the New York tabloids. Whenever creditors threatened to bankrupt Trump personally, he convinced them that doing so would destroy his brand and render what remained of the casino empire completely worthless. In the end, Trump's casino venture was an unmitigated failure — one that cost thousands of people their jobs and left dozens of small businesses without payment for their work in building or servicing the casinos. But Trump still extracted millions of dollars by awarding himself millions in salary and bonus payments. "I made a lot of money in Atlantic City," he said last year. "And I'm very proud of it."