Playboy Interview: Donald Trump (1990)

By Glenn Plaskin
Photography by Randy O’Rourke

Donald Trump sits alone. He hasn’t slept in 48 hours.

At six a.m., perched high in the bronze-coated jewel of his empire, Trump Tower, he’s bent over a mammoth Brazilian-rosewood desk, scrutinizing spread sheets. No insomnia, no gnawing worries.

“Pressure,” he surmises, sipping an iced Coke, “doesn’t upset my sleep,” a standard four hours nightly.

“I like throwing balls into the air–and I dream like a baby.”

Three hours later, blond hair marshaled, he announces, with standard chutzpah, his seven-and-a-half-billion-dollar bid to gobble down the nation’s premiere airline, American. On the strength of his $120-a-share bid, the stock vaults from $16 to $99. The 43-year-old billionaire, who owns huge blocks of American Airlines stock, smiles broadly.

A week later, with the market tumbling 190 points, he withdraws his offer, perhaps temporarily. Despite some reports that insinuated his American raid was only cardboard, a ploy to rattle up his stock, Trump stares into space: “Nope. I want it.”