What the New York Times Wrote About Donald Trump in 1973 Is Coming Back to Haunt Him

Given his total domination of the current media landscape, it might be hard to believe that there was a time when Donald Trump wasn't a household name.

However, New York Daily News writer Shaun King on Monday reminded followers that the GOP's presumptive nominee was once known as a "major landlord," and his media debut was far from flattering.

King tweeted a link to the first ever article written about Trump in the New York Times, from all the way back in 1973. The headline? "Major Landlord Accused Of Antiblack Bias in City."

Donald Trump

The 27-year-old president of Trump Management Corporation stood accused of racial discrimination. A lawsuit from the Department of Justice charged that Trump's company had violated the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by denying rent to applicants on the basis of "race and color," The Times reported.

Trump, for his part, called the charges “absolutely ridiculous.”


"We never have discriminated, and we never would," Trump told The Times. "There have been a number of local actions against us, and we’ve won them all. We were charged with discrimination, and we proved in court that we did not discriminate.”

A subsequent investigation by The Washington Post — conducted more than 40 years after the U.S. government filed the lawsuit — raises questions about Trump's claims. Court records revealed the real estate company turned away Black applicants (including undercover "testers") from specific properties.

Trump Tower

"White testers were encouraged to rent at certain Trump buildings, while the black testers were discouraged, denied or steered to apartment complexes that had more racial minorities, according to the testimony," The Washington Post reports.

The case was eventually settled in 1975, Fusion reports. Trump Management agreed to provide the New York Urban League — which had played a role in uncovering evidence of racial discrimination at the company — with "a list of all apartment vacancies, every week, for two years," The Times reports. It also had to "allow the league to present qualified applicants for every fifth vacancy in Trump buildings where fewer than 10 percent of the tenants were black."

Legally, the company admitted no wrongdoing, a point that Trump's attorney, Alan Garten, emphasized in a recent interview with The Post.

"This suit was brought as part of a nationwide inquiry against a number of companies, and the matter was ultimately settled without any finding of liability and without any admission of wrongdoing whatsoever," Garten said.

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