In November 1964 a crowd of 5,000 attended the opening of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, then the longest suspension bridge in the world. Presiding were New York Mayor Robert Wagner, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and transportation and parks czar Robert Moses. Also in the crowd was a teenager named Donald Trump.
Trump later told a New York Times reporter that he remembered that on that occasion no one mentioned the name of 85-year-old Othmar Ammann, designer of New York’s famous bridges for more than 50 years. “I realized then and there that if you let people treat you how they want, you’ll be made a fool,” he told the Times. “I don’t want to be anyone’s sucker.”
That helps explain why Trump has plastered his name on his hotels and private airliner. But it also raises this question: What was Donald Trump, an 18-year-old Fordham freshman, doing in a select crowd of celebrities?
The answer is that Trump’s entire life has been marinated in politics.