Without Si Newhouse, There Might Never Have Been a President Trump

  • Newhouse biographer recounts ‘The Art of The Deal’ origins
  • Maier also notes both had connection to attorney Roy Cohn

Donald Trump and S.I. Newhouse in 1987.

Photographer: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Image

Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House might not have been possible without the support of S.I. Newhouse Jr., the celebrated magazine publisher who died on Sunday at age 89.

“One of the things that people don’t realize is that it was Si Newhouse who personally helped convince Trump to do ‘The Art of the Deal,”’ Newhouse biographer Thomas Maier said in an interview.

Maier pointed to a May 1984 cover story by Graydon Carter in Conde Nast’s GQ magazine that exposed the brash New York City real estate developer to a national audience.

“It did so well with street sales that Newhouse -- he owned Random House at that point -- said, ‘We must do a book on Trump.’ They did a dummy book with Trump on the title, and they showed it to him. Si presided over Trump’s book party when the book came out in 1987.”

Read more: Newhouse, billionaire publisher of Vogue, dies at 89

One of the connections between Newhouse and the future president was Roy Cohn, a childhood friend of Newhouse’s who later represented Trump.

“Newhouse’s fondness for Trump, the link with Roy Cohn and the way in which the Newhouse publications promoted Trump over the last 20 years really helped make him a nationally known figure and is one of the great unknown stories of the Trump rise to power,” Maier said.

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