Jim Dowd, who advised Mr. Trump on public relations and marketing from 2004 to 2010, recalled that Mr. Trump typically took a personal interest in each news release, marking up drafts with a red pen he kept on his desk.

"We would draft a quote for him, but he would always rewrite it, making it much larger than life," Mr. Dowd said in an interview earlier this year. (Mr. Dowd died last month.)

There were some common terms: "Huge, billions — those words would have to be in there," Mr. Dowd said. "Definitely 'unprecedented.' Definitely 'the best of the best.'"

For free publicity, Mr. Trump would also schedule news conferences to announce his deals, and he seemed to feast on the attention.

"He was so caught up in the glamour of the press conference and getting the lobby of Trump Tower filled with media," Mr. Dowd said. "He would plop down the elevator, do his thing for 35 minutes, and he was pretty much in every media outlet the next day."

Eventually, Mr. Dowd said, the throngs of journalists who attended Mr. Trump's news conferences waned, as they asked Mr. Dowd, "Really, another one?"

Mr. Dowd thought Mr. Trump was putting himself out too often. "He was doing these all over the world," he said. "He was flying to Panama to announce that project. He was flying to Puerto Rico; the golf course in Scotland."

Mr. Trump said he recalled those visits fondly, though he demurred when asked if he had been overexposed in his business ventures. "It's a big world," he said. "You can do a lot of things."

Strategy: Sell the Name

But the reality was that the success of "The Apprentice," which averaged 21 million viewers weekly when it made its debut in 2004, had given Mr. Trump access to what seemed like an endless flow of business opportunities.

There were unrealized real estate developments in Atlanta; on the Baja California peninsula in Mexico; and in Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, an "elite destination that will be known worldwide in the years to come." The hotel and golf club in Cap Cana bearing the Trump name, announced almost a decade ago, have not been built, and Mr. Trump ended up suing his partners over licensing fees.

There were entertainment endeavors: a concept for a Trump animation series akin to "The Simpsons"; a speaking tour in Australia that was canceled, though Mr. Trump did eventually go there for a round of lucrative speeches; and "Trump Tycoon," a smartphone app that sold for "$2.99 but the advice is priceless," as he wrote at the time on Twitter. He said recently that he did not recall the app, which is no longer available.

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