he would divorce Ivana and marry Marla Maples, before he
would be the the man who exclaimed "You're
Fired!" on NBC's "The Apprentice," Donald
J. Trump was a thirtysomething real estate developer who
bought the New Jersey Generals from J. Walter Duncan
following the USFL's 1983 season.
Trump had originally been slated to be part of the
original group of USFL team owners, but backed out in
order to place more focus on completing the construction
of his first namesake project, New York's Trump Tower.
Immediately upon buying the Gens, Trump made waves both
in the media and the USFL's plans. Trump fired
head coach Chuck Fairbanks and replaced him with popular
former New York Jets head coach Walt Michaels, then
signed NFL-level talent such as DB Gary Barbaro and free
agent Cleveland Browns QB Brian Sipe. When that
didn't produce the 1984 USFL championship, he sent Sipe
packing for Jacksonville and signed Boston College
standout and 1984 Heisman Trophy winning QB Doug Flutie
to join 1982 winner Herschel Walker in the backfield.
the scenes, "The Donald" was the chief impetus
behind the USFL's plan to abandon its original,
spring-only season and to begin playing fall football in
1986, head to head with the NFL.
nearly went bankrupt in the 1990's, but rebounded after
a series of complex deals. Today Trump may be more
recognizable as a brand image than anything else, thanks
to "The Apprentice" as well as ventures
bearing his name such as "Trump Vodka,"
"Trump Ice" bottled water, "Trump
Golf," "Trump Institute," "Trump
University," and 1989's "Trump: The
DONALD J. TRUMP
New Jersey Generals