You stopped futzing around after 7 1/2 years. What do you think she meant by futzing? That is very funny. And Elton said, "Leonard, obviously she couldn't tell you what she really meant because the telegraph operator couldn't write the real word." That's right. Very funny. So Leonard said, "Listen, Elton, if you want to try her in Los Angeles, you be my guest," and that's how I went to broadcasting. No kidding. And I had been pounding pavements for 10 years. Unbelievable. Ten years, in Los Angeles trying to get them to put me on television. [Inaudible] Newspapers were dying and the place to go was the television. So then Leonard really was very instrumental? Leonard -- I wrote it in my book, and everything I think Leonard is -- Well, he felt very badly you're leaving, you know. In person, he told me he was very disappointed. Are you kidding me? He sent me the most stunning letter. I will always save it forever. He thought it was a great, great mistake and a great loss to ABC. I did too. But I couldn't fight the powers that they -- When are you going to show those powers, that maybe? Maybe. Hopefully, hopefully we'll show them together, Donald, okay? That maybe. You won't maybe. That maybe, so anyway. That's great Rona. Do you think it's possible, the great American dream has always been to become a millionaire? For the people who have nothing, do you think that's a reality today? Do you think in the 1980s that anyone can grow up to become a millionaire? Is that a reality? I think nowadays, Rona, I think it's more and more of a reality with the lack of incentives that are being given to so many people. Many more people have a tendency maybe to give up. And I think the people that don't, I think they're actually finding the ways, or maybe the paths are a little bit smoother than they were five, and 10, and 15 years ago. It's a sad commentary but nevertheless it's possibly easier now than it was 10 years ago. Do you think it is easier to become a millionaire? I really do. I think people, I think many people who've lost incentives, I think that with what's happening with even the country as a whole, it's a sad situation, and people sort of become a little depressed, and their own depression and the country's depression leads to that lack of incentive. And becoming wealthy, or becoming successful, or becoming -- whatever the word is when you say becoming anything, I think it largely has to do with incentive and drive and enthusiasm. You're 34-years-old. Your assets are considered to be over a billion dollars. Where did you get the incentive? I mean 34, it's so young, Donald. Well, I don't look at, really in my case, necessarily incentive. I enjoy what I'm doing. I really enjoy what I'm doing. I look at it as being somewhat creative. We've done developments that people said could not be done. And maybe because of the timing, maybe it was inflation, maybe -- whatever the end result has turned out to be tremendous with the various hotels, et cetera. I think I just basically -- I thrive on what I do. I enjoy what I do. I like what I do. It's not that I'm looking for anything. I just enjoy it. When I get up in the morning, I'm excited about the day. Is work your love? It really is. I enjoy so much my work, and I think that's probably the key to anybody's success. Is there anything you can't have? Well, I believe if you think that you can't have it, you probably won't have it. You have to go into everything with a positive attitude. You know they say that, I was telling somebody a little bit before, they say that the human mind is only using one percent of its potential, and that if the human mind could use three percent, you could do literally anything. You could cure the major diseases. You could do anything, just one mind in this world if it could get up to three percent of its maximum potential. So let's say you don't get up to three percent, but if you can get a little bit more out of than the one percent, I think you're going to be able to do pretty much whatever you want to do if you have the basic ingredients going in. But in terms of specifics, I totally agree about positive thinking. But you, is there anything you can't have materialistically or emotionally? Is there something that your money cannot buy? Well, that's a very nice question, Rona. I'm not sure that there's an answer to it. I mean, I'm quite happy with everything. I'm quite happy with the way everything's worked out for me at this point, and this point hasn't been very far. In 10 years, if we sit down at the same situation, maybe I'll tell you, "Rona, you know, I've made mistakes here and mistakes there," which today I don't think are mistakes. But at this moment I would say -- By the way, money is not the ingredient. Money has nothing to do with the ingredient. It's just whether I was an artist, I'm just pushing my work and enjoying my work. Whatever it is. I think you just have to be happy in what you do. In my case, by the way, my art is my real estate and my buildings, and if the deals work out well, that makes me happy because that's sort of a sign of accomplishment. That's pretty much the way I feel about it. Do you think that the acquisition of wealth though is an absolute aphrodisiac? No, not at all. In fact, I think in many cases it really creates problems that you normally wouldn't have. Like what? Well, many. You're expected to be a certain kind of a person, and maybe you're not necessarily cut out to be that kind of a person. You know you're cast very much as being in the movies. You're cast in a certain role, and maybe your role isn't that role after 7:00 or 6:00 or 5:00 or whatever it is that you come back home from the office. There are things and pressures placed on you that normally you wouldn't have. And I've often said the happiest people and the most contented people that I've seen, and I know the very wealthy, I know the moderately wealthy, and I guess I know people a lot less than that, but the happiest people tend to be the people that are making a nice income, that really enjoy their life and their family life, and not the people of tremendous wealth that are constantly driven to achieve more and more success. But when is enough, enough? Obviously, there must have been a time, a point when you knew that you would be secure for the rest of your life, your family, your relatives, whomever. Why do you go on? I go on really because I enjoy it. I really enjoy when I think about my business. I think about it literally 24 hours a day, and I really enjoy it. If I didn't, I will stop. There's no question in my mind that I'll stop because I do understand it's all basically a game. We're all here to play the game, and we're all hopefully going to play it well. But some people obviously can't play it well because if everyone played it well, you'd have a pretty unusual situation. But the game is being played now by me and by plenty of other people, and the people that enjoy it are the people that have been winner, in my opinion. When you win, is there sometimes a time when you also lose? Because in winning, there is also losing. Have you ever lost? Well, I guess you can say -- I would imagine everybody has lost at some point or another. If I had at this point in my life looked at any particular business transaction or anything, I could say that I have not lost in that regard. Personally, I have a wonderful wife and family, and everyone has a nice relationship having to do with me. So I really can say that thus far in life, I've been quite lucky. But I also understand life, and life is a long term investment. It's not a short term investment. And relatively speaking, I guess I'm only midterm or short term, so I can't really tell you what's going to happen in the future. But I do feel very positively about the future, and I hope that all goes well, and I think that -- again, my mind is made up that it will go well without consciously thinking and just saying just so I can convince myself. I mean, I feel that things will go well. If you feel that way, I believe they probably will go well. Were you always so lucky from the time you were a little boy? I guess the answer -- and by the way, a word, a very important word you just mentioned is luck. No matter how bright a person may be, there is always that element of luck. And yet, the interesting phenomena to me seems to be that the same people are always lucky, so maybe they create their own luck or they make their own luck. But I would say that I have certainly had my share of luck, yes. Tell me about the early days of Donald Trump. I mean, were you born into wealth? I know your father was successful. But when you came along, was he already successful? Oh yes. My father was very successful. My father built homes and apartment houses in various sections and did very well. I was brought up in the construction business, so to speak, and I enjoyed it from day one. I went to the good colleges. I went through all of the normal process. I guess what I want to know because I think lots of people out there might want to know, what was your life like? I mean, did you live in a house? Did you live in an apartment? Did you have brothers and sisters? I think you're one of five. That's correct. I mean, what kind of a family life did you have? Did you go outside and play ball, or did you have what we call a normal life, a normal upbringing? Or were you constantly taught from day one, "Donald, you must be a success and gear your head this way, and travel down that road, and never move to the left, and never move to the right"? Well, Rona, I think I was probably brought up in a very normal fashion. We did have a house. I do have brothers and sisters. I have wonderful parents, wonderful family, really great, very wonderful family. I think we're a very highly motivated family. But again, I would never use the word ambition, and because to me ambition is a bad word. It's not ambitious. You know, when I see people saying, "I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that. I'm so ambitious." It really sickens me to listen to them talk, and I think it's just something that we were motivated and properly motivated. I think we're motivated for the right things. We were also motivated toward family and toward good things. But I like to think that maybe the ideas that I've had have created what we've created over the past five or six years. Ideas that maybe at the time people didn't believe in. A lot of people didn't believe in them. You know, we built a hotel at a location and at a time in New York City's history when people were saying, "Oh, forget about it. It just cannot happen. It can't work," et cetera. Now the hotel is open, and I guess it's known as one of the greatest successes in real estate in the United States. That's the Grand Hyatt? That's the Grand Hyatt, which is built right next to Grand Central Terminal. We tried to convince the city to build a convention center when they had fought for 12 years to build a center on a different site, over the Hudson River which was unbuildable. You couldn't build it. It would cost too much. And we came up with a different location, and we were successful in convincing them, and now they're building a $375 million convention center at a site that we wanted them to build it at. But at the time, people said, "The city will never have a convention center. The city has got its difficulties." Today, New York is the hottest city in the world I would say. I don't think there's -- and we are in other cities, but I don't think there's a city in the world that is so viable today as New York. All of the Europeans are looking to come to New York. Many, as a matter of fact, and I don't like to say it because I know you're from California, but many of my friends from California are now looking to come back to New York for some reason. It's the psychology. It's a great change and a great shift in the mind from what it was five years ago. But I've made a lot of transactions and deals five years ago having to do with New York, and hoping that New York would come back, and it's come back frankly much stronger than I thought it would be possible. Tell me about that dream. Tell me how does that dream come about. Do you wake up one day and you say, "I want 30th Street on the Westside. I want 42nd Street on the Eastside. I want the Tiffany location, 57th Street and Fifth Avenue." What happens, Donald? Tell me about that process. Well, it's a process and it's something that you maybe have an instinct for. The finest piece of real estate, considered to be the finest piece of real estate in the world, is at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. That's the Tiffany corner of the world, and you can go to California. You can go to Des Moines, Iowa. You can go anywhere, and you say, "What's the Tiffany location?" It's become a phrase. The Tiffany location is Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. And for many years, I mean even when I was so young that they were throwing me out of the company, the people that owned that particular location, for many years, I went to a certain public company, a large company, and tried to buy the block with the exception of Tiffany. How old were you? Well, I guess I started that when I was 27, and they said, "Forget it. Forget it." A major department store happened to be located on that block. It was called Bonwit Teller. And they would always say, "Forget it, forget it, forget it." And one day I got a phone call, and I'd always forward by the way the letters and asked for a meeting, and this and that, and one day I got a phone call and they wanted to know if we wanted to make a deal very quickly and very easily. And I guess I was the only one because everyone assumed frankly that that block of real estate would never be sold, and it was sold. We proceeded to buy the air rights over Tiffany, which is a zoning term for area and space over Tiffany, and we're now building a 68-storey tower at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street which is going to be, I believe, the most spectacular building of its kind in the world. Considering the pollution problem we have today, do you think that was a good buy? The pollution problem? Well, it's above the pollution. Buying the air? Oh, I'd say, okay. Well, I think it was a good buy. I think it will be a fabulous situation for the people that are going to be moving into the building. Everybody really in the world is excited about that building because nobody believed it would be possible that kind of a building in that location because nobody ever assumed that that location could possibly be purchased. But all of a sudden it was, and maybe it was mind over matter again. You know, maybe you just really believe that someday you'll own that location and you end up owning that location. So maybe it is mind over matter. Maybe it's luck. Maybe I was lucky that they happen to call me very quickly instead of calling any one of a number of other people that would have jumped on it. But they did call me and I bought the site. To attain the kinds of things that you have attained in real estate, can you do it without having political clout? Yes, I believe so. I mean, people give me a lot of credit for having political clout which I really necessarily don't have. I look at my ideas as something that sell themselves, and I think the politicians in New York have been very decent and very open as far as Donald Trump is concerned. I think they've, number one, looked at the project, and they've said the projects are great. The projects and the ideas are good. But the convention center is an example. That convention center that I proposed was many times better than any of the other competing convention centers because everybody that had a site that was large tried to convince the city and state to build that on their site. But the fact is, our site was better. It was adjudged to be better, and I think politically speaking I think what the state is going to do is they're going to build a better convention center in a better location than originally planned, and they're going to save at least $100 million over and above what they were originally talking about building the center for. So I don't know what that has to do with the political connections, although I have been accused of having political connections. Do you have political connections? I really say no. You say no? I absolutely say no. I think if I went -- Is it because people think that it's ugly like the word ambition to have political friends who could help you? No. Well, in fact I do have many political friends, but I really believe that without the proper ideas and the proper concepts and the proper planning, and you know -- I don't believe I could have sold one of the other convention center sites. I believe my site was the best. I really believe that, and I don't think I would have been successful in trying to sell one of the other sites as the other groups were not successful in selling their site. I believe that the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which has now opened up and which is booked out and tremendously -- it's just a tremendous operation. At the time I did it, the hotel that occupied that site was a closed, boarded up building, and people were not exactly -- even against the fact that we got various tax abatements, et cetera, et cetera for that particular site. What's happened is the area has turned out to be triple A. Philip Morris is building its world headquarters. The Chrysler building is booming. The rents over there are tremendous. The area is thriving. We're doing the restoration of Grand Central Terminal. It has turned out to be a wonderful idea. But at the time, everyone loved my idea because they thought it might lead to the total revival of the Grand Central Terminal area, and it has. But what made you think of it though? Was it just because it was a piece of property that you could acquire for the right price and you thought it was? Did you do some feasibility studies? I mean, what said to you one day, Donald, you must go and buy the old Commodore Hotel and transform that into the new Grand Hyatt? Well, I think it was monumental. You know it was a monumental approach to things that I've sort of developed. The building itself was there. You had Grand Central Terminal there. You have the Pan-Am building. You have the Chrysler building there. The whole area is monumental. The key to that area was the old Commodore Hotel which was now gutted and redone and it's a spectacular hotel. The process of doing the monumental deal to me has always been much easier than the process of doing the small deal. Instead we have friends that were in different locations trying to get similar tax abatements as I got for my hotel. They were doing non-monumental projects -- a little shopping center in Queens. Another one was doing a little shopping center in Brooklyn. All having the same basic thing. My deal was much easier to work than theirs because it was a monumental project. It was easy getting the tax abatement. It was easier getting the financing for the project. It was easier getting everything. Even though the numbers were much bigger, even though the project was many, many, many times bigger, my deal in a sense was easier than theirs because everybody reacted to my deal, whereas they didn't want to bother with the shopping center concept, and they didn't want to bother with another little concept someplace else. So I really believe it's easier to do the big concepts that have a certain amount of glamour, and you know the word glamour very well, than it is to do the smaller what seemingly would be the easier deal but really I think in fact turns out generally to be the harder kind of transaction. A big deal, a small deal, no matter what deal you're ever in, even though you may win in the final analysis, sometimes a door gets closed in your face. How do you get those doors opened? What makes you go on? Well, you do get many doors closed. There's no question about that, Rona. That's something that has happened in many cases, and I guess you just have to keep going. I guess you really just have to keep pushing and just get going, and a funny thing is once you open the first door, it becomes a lot easier to open the second door. I mean, for instance, today, it's much easier for me to have things happen than it would have been five years ago before any of these conceptions or conceptual ideas really came into fruition. Today, it's much easier for me to make a phone call and trying to have something happen than it was five years ago. Can you remember your very first deal? Well, I've always been making deals even when I was very young. Yeah, when you're very young. How old were you when you set out without any help from anyone to make your very first deal? That I couldn't say, but I can tell you that it's an instinct that some people have where they enjoy doing certain things, and I've always enjoyed being somewhat creative and working out various deal concepts. But I really couldn't tell you what the first was, Rona. Were you 12 or 13 years old when you began thinking about concepts? Were you younger than that? Did it start when you were in your teens, in your early 20s? When do you think it really all began for you? I guess probably sometime during high school, and during college, and during whatever. I think you probably just start forming -- the brain cells start forming in that direction. But I really don't know when exactly. I wish I could answer that question a little bit better. There was an article recently that headlined, "Like Father, Like Son." Are you like your dad? Well, I hope so. I have a very wonderful father, and I would hope I'd be somewhat like my father. What's he like? Strong, dynamic gentleman. Is he loving, kind, giving? Absolutely, totally. Could you go to him anytime you had a problem? Was he that kind of a father? Absolutely, I could, yes. There's always been this sort of thing, this theory about people who are born into wealth that the parents shuttle them off to private schools, that you have nannies and governesses, that your parents are really never around when you need them. A lot of children of the well-to-do have never really been very happy. Some have grown up of course. There is always the exception to the rule. That's right. Were you shunted off to private schools or did you go to public schools? What was that like? I was sent to private schools but probably never shunted off. I went to the private schools and I went through the whole scenario, but I've always had parents who were very supportive. In fact, very supportive over the last five, and six, and seven years because I needed support over the last five or six years. I was being criticized very badly for concepts and ideas that probably at the time would not have been viable, and it turned out that they turned out to be very viable. So I needed the support of a good family and a strong family, and a family that backed my thinking, and they did. Now, I think they can sit back and say, "Well, we made the right decision." But I've always had a very supportive family. Are you hurt by criticism? No, not really. I've been used to criticism because I've taken a lot of criticism over the last number of years. I don't think anybody gets used to criticism though, Donald. I think you can develop sort of what I call a right guard shield around you, but I think the first time people start attacking you, if you've never been attacked before, it's a feeling and an emotion and an action that is not accustomed, that you're not accustomed to. How do you handle it, or how did you handle it the first time? First of all, I think you are right. I think you probably never really get used to it in the total sense, and maybe all I'm doing when you say, you know, "Do you mind criticisms?" and I say, "No, I really don't." Maybe I'm just creating my own little psychological wedge we all suffer maybe for that kind of a question. But you just have to go with it. I mean, you're always going to be criticized no matter what you do, and you have to realize it, and you really have to develop a little bit of a tough skin. And if you don't, you really cannot survive, I suspect, doing anything of any great importance. Do you like having a tough skin? Do you think you have to have a killer instinct in order to be successful? I think you have to some -- to a large extent I think you do have to have, at least a winning instinct. I think that the world is made up of people with either killer instincts or without killer instincts, and the people that seem to emerge all the time -- it doesn't mean they're the best people, and it doesn't mean they're the happiest people, and in fact in many cases and in most cases they're probably not. But the people that seemed to emerge are the people that are competitive and driven and with a certain instinct to win. You used the word competitive and driven. I'd like to know, what drives you? Enjoyment. Pure and simple enjoyment, Rona. I want to buy the enjoyment, but somehow I feel that there is something underneath it, that there is something more that makes you want to succeed, want to be who you are. What do you think it is? Think about it. Maybe I can just add the word creativity. I really enjoy creating, and maybe this is my form of creativity. You know, building a 68-story building on Fifth Avenue is my form of creativity and making it the finest, not only the location but instead of building an average building, we're going to make it the finest building in the world. And maybe that's my form of enjoyment, which gives me a little bit more drive than somebody else may or may not have which allows me to do these things. But I feel that enjoyment really has a large part to do with it, creativity, and just incentive, just having the incentive to go out and do something. Everything I've read about you, listening to you speak, as I think I said in the very beginning, work apparently is your love. Is that true? Well, work is something that I enjoy very much. I can't say that it's my love. I mean, I have a lot of other things that, you know, are very dear and very dear to me, but I certainly do enjoy work and it is certainly a love. I was going to ask you. Is there room for a wife and a child on your list of priorities? Oh, sure. I mean, marriage is a very important thing for people. I fully believe it. I think that having the home and having the stability, and I've had it all different ways. I mean, I've had it the other way, and I've had it the marriage way, and I think that marriage is very important. Having a good wife and having a nice family is very, very important. There is no substitute for it, frankly. There really is no substitute for it. Are you friends? Yes, absolutely. With my wife, absolutely. Is it important? I think it's the most important thing. I mean you have to be best friends. If you're not going to be best friends, then the marriage cannot work. No matter what the other ingredients are, the marriage really can't work. Speaking of friends, is it easy for a man of wealth to develop friendships, friendships in the traditional sense? Well, I think it's easier to develop friendships but I'm not so sure when you get back down to the traditional sense, and that would be the friends that are here in good times and bad. I'm not so sure necessarily how many of those friends would be around if things did take a turn for the worst. I've oftentimes thought that I'd like to test some people and find out and just played a little game of doing the testing and which has been done on occasion. But it's very easy to develop friends but it's very hard to see whether or not they're real friends. Do you think a real friend has to be someone who has the same things you have? Monetarily speaking. No, I don't think so. I think probably maybe just the opposite. I would not say so. I think that -- But isn't there a doubt then in your mind that you're always wondering if that person isn't there to try to get something from you, Donald Trump? Oh, there would always be that doubt, but if you know people well enough, I think maybe one of my greatest strengths is understanding people, you know, specific people for specific jobs, and just understanding the human psyche of other people, maybe not even my own quite as well, but of other people. And I'd like to think that I can tell the difference between somebody that's looking for one thing and somebody that's looking for the other, Rona. But you really never can, I mean, no matter how well you understand people until there's a time of test, and we shall see what we shall see. Do you have a best friend? I have a lot of very good friends. A lot of good friends? Yeah, I would say that I have a lot of very good friends. But again, my business is so all encompassing I don't really get the pleasure of being with friends that much frankly. This is a strange question to ask, but God forbid, you got sick in the middle of the night, and your wife and your child weren't around, and your housekeeping wasn't around, and your parents weren't around. Who would you call if you were in trouble? Maybe I'll call you Rona, you know, I mean you're such a nice woman and you look like you know your way around certainly, so maybe I'd give you a little buzz. But I'm not your best friend there. No. I know. I don't know. I guess I would have a list of people. Certainly, I'd have to think of one very quickly obviously if that circumstance arrived. But if there was somebody, I would imagine that person would have been sitting right there now on the top of your head when I asked you that question. That could very well be. I'm not sure that I'd want to necessarily say that on television who that person might be. Well, I mean you might say to me, "I have such a person but I'd rather not mention the name." Yeah, I would say that I would have -- actually a few such people who I could call interchangeably. But I probably wouldn't mention who they would be. In 30 years from now, your son will be approximately the age that you are today, would you like to see the same kind of headline as was written about you, Father like Son? I think that it'd be fine, but I think more important to me would be that my son would be happy, that my family would be happy. I mean, I really don't care that much whether or not he decides to go into this business or go into another business. I find this business very exciting. I find this business to be show business frankly. You know, in terms of what we've done, I'd like to make it a little bit showbizzy because I don't like show business that much. I do like the real estate business but I like the concept of show business as it relates to the real estate business. But I would like my son mostly to be happy, and if he's happy then I'm really satisfied. If he'd be happy doing what I'm doing, then I'll be probably a little bit more satisfied. Though he's only 2 1/2 or 3 at this time, do you begin to teach him about the value of a dollar? Well, I would say I haven't devoted tremendous amount of time to teaching about the value of the dollar, but he is learning about the value of life I think. Not necessarily the value of the dollar, and I think he is somebody that enjoys his life, and hopefully we can keep it that way. It's a funny thing. A thought came to me. Lots of kids play with blocks. Your son playing with blocks doesn't necessarily mean little squares but perhaps 57th Street, and 42nd Street, and 30th Street? Do you think about that? Not really, not really, Rona. I just keep pushing along and I just hope that you know, again, I just hope that my son is going to be happy. One day, if someone were to make a movie. You talked about show business and the relationship here. One day if someone were to make a movie of your life, who would you see playing yourself? Maybe myself. I have to tell you that I really -- I really could not answer that question. I really could not answer. Are you trying to say that after you've accomplished all in real estate, you might like to try acting? Oh no, oh no. Not at all, Rona. Believe me that would be something that I would have no interest in, no interest whatsoever. I really wouldn't be able to tell you who would play the so-called leading role. Would you like to see your life in the movies? No, not at all. You don't think you're that exciting a person that you've had such an interesting story that you -- Well, I always like to say that I think my deals are the most exciting deals. I don't necessarily want the excitement for myself, and that I've always been somewhat guarded about that. I mean I do think we probably have, and I'm not saying, it has been recognized that we are the most exciting real estate transactions in the country at this moment, and I would say that I think they're very bright themselves. They are very exciting, and that satisfies me. That's my excitement is it's really seeing what happens with them. Do you have to worry about the drudgery that we have to worry about? I mean, going to the market, buying the things that you need for your house, for your homes. Do you do things like that? You have somebody who do things like that for you. No. We live a very normal life, and we always have to -- everybody has to worry about drudgery in one form or the other. But, no, we do quite a bit of work. You'd be surprised, Rona. Can I see you one day walking the streets or going into a market and buying food for your family or for yourself? You might. I mean, if you pick the right day, it could happen. It could happen, really? It could probably happen, yes. Do you have religion? Yes. I don't mean a formal religion. Do you have a philosophy I guess is what I'm saying? I think my philosophy basically is there has to be something to this. I mean we just can't be put here for the sake of living our 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 years, whatever it might be, and just end up with nothing at the end of that time after all the combat, and I really look at life to a certain extent as combat. There has to be something. I mean we have to be in a test period or there has to be something after this. Otherwise, it just seems so futile. Now, are you metaphysical? No. Do you believe that there is a hereafter? I believe there probably is a hereafter, yes. Do you believe that we come on earth to learn certain lessons about life? I believe we come on earth maybe as a testing period, and maybe for whatever reason. I guess again that goes back to the mind with a 1 percent and the 3 percent, that we could expand the 3 percent of the use of the mind maybe we'd be able to figure out what happens afterwards, but we probably will not be able to figure that out. Since you brought up that thought, you must have been given some time to that idea. Why do you think in 34 years that you've been brought here? Well, I have done a couple of things which maybe on the outside don't appear to be very humanitarian but I think inwardly I think they probably are. We have created thousands of jobs for people that maybe wouldn't have jobs today. We've created, you know, industry in the city which again while today it's thriving and probably considered the best five years ago. At the time we did it, it was not considered to be thriving, and in my own way I suspect that we've just created a certain amount of happiness in many houses where instead of going on a welfare line or whatever the people have now come home with a nice paycheck, who are now working successfully in one of our developments. So I think in a sense maybe I was put on earth to help fulfill that function, and I think that's an important function. Can you -- I don't like to use the word rationalize, but maybe that is the word. You received a great deal of criticism when you tore down the Bonwit building. Right. People wanted those wonderful sculptures donated to wherever they wanted it to go, and yet you created jobs for people on the other hand by building a brand new edifice. How do you reconcile that? In that case, I reconciled it by saying the fact that that building was at that location was the only thing that gave the old building any value. If that building were in a different location, in a different city, or in a different borough, or whatever. It would have had no artistic value whatsoever. It just happened to be sitting at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, and that gave it a false value as a building itself. The second thing is I do value human life and human safety, and having taken those down, I can tell you that if we try to save them, it's very possible, and they were 15 feet high. There were about a foot thick of solid concrete and stone, and if anybody ever tried to take them down, there was a very substantial chance that they would have slipped on to Fifth Avenue, and if that would have happened, people would have been very badly hurt and killed below. The process of trying to redeem or trying to save things of little or no artistic merit, based on some basic criticism, getting back to the word criticism, was to me not worth the safety of peoples' lives. That's it? Oh absolutely. That will always take precedent with me. It seems to me that anyone who has acquired the kind of wealth that you have, has had to make some compromises. Do you have any regrets? About that particular aspect? About that and anything else. No, I don't have any regrets about that. I can tell you just crazy, crazy things happened. As you have just said, we've gotten tremendous amount of publicity because we ripped down the Bonwit Teller building, and people considered it landmark status, and people considered it this and that. I would have assumed there would have been negative publicity. What's happened is we've gotten literally thousands of phone calls because of that publicity, and people wanting to move in to that building. So it's had an exact reverse -- it's a phenomenon as far as I'm concerned, but the human mind is the greatest phenomenon of all I suspect. But we've gotten actually a very positive response from people. Most people understand that in order to make progress, you have to do things which are not necessarily going to make you the most popular boy in the block, and that's what we did. In that case, we had a decision to make and we had to make a decision. Is that something you learned all by yourself, or was instilled in you by your father or your grandparents, or anyone? I think maybe it's something that was instilled, and maybe it's something that you've learned through a little bit of trial and error over the years. I think this country maybe is a good example. I just don't feel the country is going forward in the proper direction. We could have made quick decisions and we would have been a lot better off than the way we've been sitting around over the last couple of years, and just watching everybody else do everything, and we just sit back and take everybody's abuse. It's a very sad situation that somebody isn't there making the decisions and pushing the right and proper -- I don't want to use the word buttons frankly -- but pushing the right lever so that we can go out and do things as we're supposed to be doing them. You are a mover. You are a doer. If you could make America perfect, how would you do it? Well, I think that America is a country that has tremendous, tremendous potential. I think that much like the mind I think that America is using very, very little of its potential. I feel that this country with the proper leadership can go on to become what it once was, and I hope, and certainly hope, that it does go on to be what it should be. What should it be? It should really be a country that gets the respect of other countries. Is respect the most important thing in your opinion? Respect can lead to other things. When you get the respect of the other countries, then the other countries tend to do a little bit as you do, and you can create the right attitudes. The Iranian situation is a case in point. That they hold our hostages is just absolutely, and totally ridiculous. That this country sits back and allows a country such as Iran to hold our hostages, to my way of thinking, is a horror, and I don't think they'd do it with other countries. I honestly don't think they'd do it with other countries. Obviously you're advocating that we should have gone in there with troops, et cetera, and brought our boys out like Vietnam. I absolutely feel that, yes. I don't think there's any question, and there is no question in my mind. I think right now we'd be an oil-rich nation, and I believe that we should have done it, and I'm very disappointed that we didn't do it, and I don't think anybody would have held us in abeyance. I don't think anybody would have been angry with us, and we had every right to do it at the time. I think we've lost the opportunity. Donald, would you have wanted to be one of those men to have gone to Iran, and then taken those fellows out? No, I wouldn't have wanted to be, but I would have done it. Would you? Absolutely. If I were the age, if I were in the military. You know a lot of those fellows who went for that aborted coup, who were 34-years-old and older. They were your age. That's right. If you were called upon, would you? I know it's easy to say, "Yes, of course I would go," but if the phone rang right now, and someone from the selective service would say, "Donald, we're taking every young man, 34 years of age. We're sending him to war." Would you go to war? No, I don't see a war. You see the war is -- this is not a Vietnam situation fortunately. The war in fact with Iraq -- There is a war raging there right now. Oh yes, there is a war, and it's a war where nobody has any tanks, has any guns. It's a war where everyone is standing around. That would have been the easiest victory we would have ever won, in my opinion. Well, when I look at television, I see men being shot up like being blown off. But you're talking about two non-existent armies. I mean Iran has an army composed of American equipment without parts and without anything else, and Iraq has a very weak army, and they're just really fighting each other, and it's almost hand-to-hand combat if you see now. It's a sad situation, Rona, but it's a situation which ultimately is going to get much worse. That little sparkle of war, that little sparkle, is going to lead in my opinion to a much, much greater conflict, and I think that's very unfortunate. I think a lot of it has to do with this country and the fact that this country is not more involved in terms of setting policy in that area. Do you think perhaps that the oil industry is responsible for this as the late Shah once implied? I wouldn't want to criticize the oil industry because I wouldn't know enough about it but I can tell you that I think this country is responsible for that war by its own weaknesses. I don't think you'd have this war if they -- again using the other word, if we were respected, properly respected as a country and as a people, and as a nation. I don't think that you would have the war going on right now between Iran and Iraq. I don't think that Iran would have our hostages for 10 minutes if they respected this country. I don't believe they would have our hostages for 10 minutes. For some people the ultimate goal in life has been becoming the President of the United States, would you like to be the President of the United States? I really don't believe I would, Rona. But I would like to see somebody as the president who could do the job, and there are very capable people in this country. Most people who are capable and not running for office. Most men are frightened of politics today. It is a shame, isn't it? Yes. It is a shame. The most capable people are not necessarily running for political office, and that is a very sad commentary on the country. They head major corporations, and they had this and that, but they are not running for political office. Why wouldn't someone like yourself run for political office? You have all the money that you possibly need. You've accomplished a great deal even though you are only 34. I know there's a lot of things that you possibly can do in the years ahead. Why wouldn't you dedicate yourself to public service? Because I think it's a very mean life. I would love, and I would dedicate my life to this country but I see it as being a mean life, and I also see it in somebody with strong views, and somebody with the kind of views that are maybe a little bit unpopular, which may be right, but may be unpopular, wouldn't necessarily have a chance of getting elected against somebody with no great brain but a big smile. That's a sad commentary for the political process. Television in a strange way has ruined that process, hasn't it? It's hurt the process very much. I mean the Abraham Lincoln's of the world. Abraham Lincoln would probably not be electable today because of television. He was not a handsome man, and he did not smile at all. He would not be considered to be a prime candidate for the presidency, and that's a shame, isn't it? But if all the men are like you, then when are we going to get somebody who might be good? I don't know. I hope it's around the corner, but I don't know. I really don't know. What I would like to be involved in is trying to help choose somebody, or working with a group of people whereby they put up a candidate who would be acceptable to be a presidential, you know, to be the president. The country if we have the one man, and it's really not that big a situation. You know people say, "Well, what could anybody do as president?" One man could turn this country around. The one proper president could turn this country around. I firmly believe that. You think there is one man? There is one man that can turn this country around. I could tell you, I know a number of people that would be excellent presidents. I will not tell you who they are, but I know a number of people that could be excellent presidents of this country. But they are not running for political office. They are not in political office. They are extraordinarily brilliant. They are very, very confident. They are leaders. They have the respect of everybody, and they would be fabulous presidents. But they're not running for political office, and I think that's very sad, and I think you said it. Maybe television is a thing that most hurt the political process in this country. If you lost your fortune today, what would you do tomorrow? Maybe I'd run for president. I don't know. You mean you think you have to be bankrupt, with not a dime in your pocket in order to be a good president? No, I'm only kidding. You know when I say that of course I'm being somewhat fictitious. But I have to tell you a lot of people would vote for you if you were in that position because they feel sorry for you, and again I think that's a very sad commentary. I think that's a very sad commentary. Yet every man who has aspired to the White House in recent years has been a millionaire and better. Well, that could be but I don't consider millionaires are better. If you know, Plaines, Georgia, I'm not sure if that's necessarily a millionaire or better. I really look at a person's mind and his own individual confidence, not necessarily his wallet. Do you think there's a distinction between millionaires and millionaire? Oh, absolutely. There's a great distinction. What is the distinction? I mean millionaires today are -- they've done a study that there are 500,000 millionaires in the United States, and this or that. Well, I look at really again -- I don't like to look at the distinction between wealth and wealth, because once you've attained a certain wealth, it all doesn't really matter. I really like to look at the individual characteristics of a person and to see whether or not that person is really what I like a person to be. Do you think wealth corrupts? No. I think it can but I don't think it does in all cases. It certainly can corrupt. Fred said that there were two things in life, love and work. If you had to choose one, which would you choose? I don't think I could choose one. I think I'd choose both, and I think they can both work hand in hand. In fact I think your love can be increased, and I think your work can be increased by the other. I believe they can each increase the value of the other. But if you had to choose one, if it was a life and death situation, which one would you choose? I would probably choose love. You would? I think so, yes. Despite the fact that you spent all your time working, achieving, creating. Well, you know, when I say love, I'm also saying it in the positive sense that I also consider my work to be love. So I assume that I can get away with that little answer and we can maybe leave it at that. Great wealth means power and influence. How do you view it? How do you use it? I'm not sure that it does mean power and influence. I think it means if you can live the way you want to live without anybody looking over your shoulder necessarily. I'm not sure that it means power. I'm not sure that it means influence. I think it can lead to power and it can lead to influence if you use it in a certain way, and if that's what you're looking for, and if you have the right up here. But I'm not really sure that great wealth means power or influence. People say the most powerful people in the world are those who want anonymity. Do you agree? I think there's a large -- I think to a large extent that's true, but I'm not sure that I fully agree with it. I'm not really not sure that I fully agree with that, Rona. Obviously, you probably don't otherwise you wouldn't be here. I don't really care about it frankly. I mean I never think of it one way or the other in terms of whether I'm recognized or whether I'm not recognized. It really doesn't matter to me very much frankly, Rona. How would you like to be remembered? Well, as somebody that's contributed something to the United States and to the City of New York, and to the various other places that I'm going, and somebody that's done a little bit better than other people at what he does. I thank you. Thank you, Rona, very much. Thank you. Have we just about done it? Just standby [indiscernible]. Excellent. I have to tell you, you're very, very good.