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By ninth grade, Trump was a model cadet; as a senior, he made cadet captain, says Dobias, and was the star first baseman for Dobias' varsity squad."He was good-hit good-field: We had scouts from the Phillies to watch him, but he wanted to go to college and make real money."After graduating from Wharton, where his academic laurels have been grossly overstated through the years (he didn't finish first in his class or anywhere near it, and went altogether missing from the list of honors for the class of 1968), Trump began working for his old man in Brooklyn, but had little sustaining interest in low-rent units.
The three boys spent summers pulling weeds and pouring cement, learning the building trade from the subfloor up, while the two girls toiled in his real estate office in the bowels of Coney Island.There's a Starbucks somewhere up in the sky-high atrium, not far from the 60-foot waterfall.You fight the urge to dunk your head in the pool where it collects, and try, instead, to regain your wits on the whooshing ride up to the 26th floor.There, you are met by the first in a series of dazzling young female assistants. Many of his close aides are women in their twenties not very long removed from college.Hope Hicks, Trump's communications director who, several years ago, was studying at Southern Methodist University, leads me into the boss's office, which is as much Trump's trophy room as workspace.Him, two hours at the beach with us on Sundays, and he was back to work."Fred was among the first of the great wartime developers to figure out the import of Federal Housing Authority programs, vast new pots of government loans to build housing for the working- and middle-class.
Trump doesn't volunteer that much of the family fortune derived from taxpayer funds, or that his father was a master manipulator of the Democratic machine in Brooklyn.
Polished and restrained where their father is flamboyant, they've nonetheless paid him the highest praise by enlisting in the family trade.
No less telling, none of them are train wrecks like so many children of billionaires.
"I had a lot of one-on-ones" with the 14-year-old Trump, adds Dobias, some of which got physical, both men say.
Whatever it took to seize the eighth-grader's attention, Dobias seemed to turn him around.
" (Fact-check: It isn't bigger than Air Force One, and it was featured on the Smithsonian Channel.