If you’re having financial troubles, don’t be ashamed because you’re not alone. Most people have hit the money skids at least once in their lives. Some of the unfortunates are actually famous people who you’d never think ever had a bad day in their lives. These include “The Donald” Trump, boxing champ/entrepreneur George Foreman, Olympic skating star Dorothy Hamill, country singer Willie Nelson, and others.
Yes, you heard it right. The business mogul who’s known for his reality series “The Apprentice” and his tagline “You’re fired!” probably should’ve fired himself after two bankruptcies. The first bankruptcy of his hotel/casino empire occurred in the early nineties to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. His second business bankruptcy occurred in 2004, this time to the tune of $1.8 billion. In 2005, Trump stepped down as CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. And “The Apprentice” is coming back for another season.
In the eighties, former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman was on the verge of bankruptcy. In Foreman’s case, fear of financial ruin proved to be a good thing because it drove him to re-enter the boxing ring at age 45 and regain his heavyweight title against Michael Moorer in 1994. This second chance at success enabled him to pay off millions of dollars of debt and launch a new career as an entrepreneur hawking George Foreman Grills. Millions have been sold.
In 1990, country music legend Willie Nelson declared bankruptcy, owing a $16.7 million debt to the IRS. They wound up seizing his bank accounts and his real estate holdings in six states. To help pay back the government, Nelson released a double-album titled “The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?” All profits went directly to the IRS. By 1993, his debts were paid off. Willie later sued Price Waterhouse for mishandling his finances.
In 2004, former Olympic ice skating champion Dorothy Hamill filed for chapter 11 after she was sued for repayment of a bank loan that had been used to finance an Arizona ice skating arena that later went bankrupt. After peaking as a skating star in her late teens, Hamill went through twenty years of bad investment advice.
Thomas Jefferson was one of the greatest and smartest of all Presidents of the United States. Unfortunately, he wasn’t smart about money for his heirs. After his death, his estate Monticello and all his possessions, including 120 slaves, were auctioned off to help pay off $107,000 in debts (a fortune in 1826).
“The Trump Card”, Robin Goldwyn Blumenthal, Barrons, URL: (http://online.barrons.com/google_login.html?url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.barrons.com%2Farticle%2FSB118369463892159032.html%3Fmod%3Dgooglenews_barrons)
“Fool’s Fortunes”, Timothy L. O’Brien, New York Times, URL: (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/17/business/yourmoney/17broke.html?ei=5090&en=924c13d4c85d73f5&ex=1316145600&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all)
“Debt disasters of the rich and famous”, Amy Fleitas and Paul Bannister, MSN Money, URL: (http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/SavingandDebt/P75072.asp)
“Toughest jump of all”, Tommy Hine, AP, URL: (http://apse.dallasnews.com/contest1999/writing/100-250.hartford14.html)