2016 



Former U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady
Born: October 26th, 1947  (age 69)


Clinton Career

After school concluded in early 1972, Secretary Clinton returned to Washington to work for the Washington Research Project. Her boyfriend, Bill Clinton, was also working in Washington as a staffer for George McGovern’s presidential campaign. However, after McGovern secured the Democratic nomination in July, Bill was tasked with assisting McGovern’s campaign in Texas, while Secretary Clinton was asked to head a grassroots voter registration drive in Austin.

Not long after, Bill returned to Arkansas to take up a teaching position in Fayetteville, with a view towards running against Arkansas’s sole Republican Congressman, John Paul Hammerschmidt.

Secretary Clinton, meanwhile, returned to Washington after being roped in to join an impeachment inquiry team counseling the House Democrats during the Watergate investigation.

After President Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, the team was disbanded and she rejoined the Washington Research Project. She soon learned that she had passed the Arkansas bar exam, but failed the Washington one. Despite being professionally contented working for the anti-poverty advocacy group, Secretary Clinton admitted to missing her boyfriend, a factor which led her to head over to Arkansas later that year. They were married a year later on October 11, 1975 in a simple ceremony in their living room.

She joined Bill at the University of Arkansas’s School of Law, and became only the second female professor there. She stayed for only three years, but left behind a legacy that remains to this day - a student-run legal aid clinic which she founded.

After leaving the university, Secretary Clinton joined one of the state’s largest law firms, the Rose Law Firm. She also founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in the same year. Between 1979 and 1980, she was the chairperson of the Legal Services Corporation – the first female to do so.

After the election of Bill Clinton as Governor of Arkansas, and subsequently, President of the United States, Secretary Clinton assumed a less prominent public role, but remained fairly active in the background. In 1987, she was appointed the first chairperson of the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession. She also assumed a lead policy role in President Bill Clinton’s failed healthcare reform proposal, serving as chair of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. She was also heavily involved in several other important legislations, including the State Children's Health Insurance Program, Adoption and Safe Families Act, and Foster Care Independence Act, and was behind the founding of the Office on Violence Against Women.

As the presidency of Bill Clinton was winding down, Secretary Clinton contested and won the 2000 New York Senate election after a convincing victory over Republican challenger, Rick Lazio. The victory meant she became the first ever First Lady elected to a public office. She was reelected by an even bigger margin in 2006.

Secretary Clinton announced that she was running for president in January 2007. She immediately became the Democratic frontrunner, and was expected secure the party’s nomination without too much hassle. However, she suffered a surprising defeat at the hands of a certain young Illinois Senator, Barack Obama, in the curtain raising Iowa primary. Although she recovered by winning the next primary in New Hampshire, Secretary Clinton then suffered a string of primary and caucus losses which finally forced her to withdraw from the race.

She would go on to endorse Senator Obama and campaign on his behalf. Her endorsement speech at the Democratic National Convention in Colorado is roundly viewed as one of the best ever – one that many argued played a part in President Obama’s subsequent decision to offer her the position of Secretary of State.

Secretary Clinton initially declined the offer, but President Obama persistence eventually paid off and she reluctantly accepted the position for a single term. She was officially appointed as Secretary of State for the new Obama administration in 2009. After four years and approximately 956,733 miles (a record which was only bettered by her successor, Secretary John Kerry, recently), Secretary Clinton announced her decision to step down in 2012.
 
 
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2016 



Businessman, television personality and author
Born: June 14th, 1946  (age 71)


Trump Career

Born with a raging entrepreneurial spirit in his blood, Mr. Trump was always destined to carve his mark in the world of business. His eventual involvement with his father’s real estate business was also a foregone conclusion from childhood. At age five, Mr. Trump was already following his father to construction sites. He even drove a bulldozer at the age of 13!

Those that expected him to join the family firm, Elizabeth Trump & Son, after college were pleasantly surprised when the young man went one better and began working with the company while still in school. In fact, while enrolled at Wharton, Mr. Trump even drove back 100 miles every weekend from Philadelphia to spend time with his dad in their Brooklyn office.

The elder Trump was clearly impressed, and advanced his son $2 million to start building his own portfolio in Philadelphia. Mr. Trump used the fund to invest in undervalued and distressed properties which are then flipped after a little work.

“It’s always been a natural instinct. […] I would fix up houses, fix up little buildings. Fix them up and sell them, rent them and live in them, and do all sorts of things with them. Made a little money during college. […] “He was always impressed — he was a strong guy, my father — he was always impressed I never failed. I would always buy them and sell them for more than I bought them for."
Boston Globe, Aug 28, 2015


Mr. Trump officially joined the family business after graduation, and his first major assignment was in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was tasked with managing Swifton Village, an area now known as Villages of Daybreak (Bond Hill).

Elizabeth Trump & Son had purchased Swifton Village for $5.7 million a few years earlier from the government. Mr. Trump managed to revitalize the 1,200-unit apartment complex within two years, raising the rental occupancy rate from 66% to 100%. Former Swifton Village maintenance worker Roy Knight said that “When they bought this place from the government, there were 400 units rented and 800 vacant. In less than two years, there wasn't a vacancy.” Not long after the project was stabilized, Elizabeth Trump & Son sold Swifton Village for $6.75 million in 1972, netting them a fairly reasonable profit - excluding the rental income earned during their ownership.

Concurrent to this, Mr. Trump also made his maiden foray into show business with a $70,000 investment in a Broadway musical called “Paris Is Out!.” Alas, the venture proved to be a flop as the show was ended after just 112 performances.

However, his impressive work in Cincinnati compelled his father to call him back to New York and take a larger role in the family business. By 1971, Mr. Trump was already handling the Trump Management Corporation and its inventory of over 14,000 properties in New York.

In 1975, Fred Trump finally handed the reigns of the company to his 28-year-old son, who promptly changed the company’s name to the Trump Organization. Under his management, the company’s business model radically shifted from its low-cost home rental model into high-end properties and public infrastructure.

The Trump Organization experienced a massive growth over the next fifteen years through numerous high-profile development and construction projects such as the Trump Village Estates, Grand Hyatt and Jacob K. Javits Convention Center - which ultimately brought Mr. Trump into national prominence. Of course, his ownership of the now-defunct New Jersey Generals of the also defunct US Football league, appearances in World Wrestling Entertainment events and movie cameos also helped.

In the late 80s, Mr. Trump rapidly expanded the hospitality arm of his firm with the acquisition and development of three casinos. The expansion wiped off Trump Organization’s liquidity even after receiving over a billion dollars’ worth of undersecured loans. The development of the third, the Regency Hotel in Atlantic City, was funded exclusively with highly volatile junk bonds.

The Trump Organization was stretched dangerously thin, and was left completely vulnerable to the recession of 1990 and the subsequent contraction of the real estate market. Despite a last-ditch $65 million rescue package by his creditors, Mr. Trump had to file for bankruptcy in 1991 to reorganize the company’s $3.8 billion debt. A number of his major assets, such as his 282-foot yacht and Trump Airlines, were handed to creditors.

A lesser man would’ve crumbled under similar circumstances, but Mr. Trump persevered, and Trump Organization eventually experienced a huge resurgence in the late 90s. So much so, his brand name suddenly became a commodity, leading to numerous property and business licensing deals.

His increased profile even prompted him to briefly consider a run in the 2000 presidential election under the Reform Party ticket. However, his public profile truly skyrocketed when his reality show, The Apprentice, was aired in 2003. The show became a global ratings blockbuster, and turned Mr. Trump into a household name. His catchphrase, “You’re Fired”, became a national phenomenon. The Apprentice would go on to enjoy a successful 14-season run, and also spawned a local spin-off, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, as well as over 20 other international ones.

He has gradually assumed a more hands-off role in his company over the past several years, and has increasingly handed more executive responsibilities to his children, but Mr. Trump remains the Chairman and President of the Trump Organization.
 
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