Ross, 79, is an investor and former banker who specialized in resurrecting bankrupt or near-bankrupt companies.
His net worth is estimated at $2.5 billion.
The relationship between Ross and Trump goes back more than 25 years, when efforts by Ross saved one of Trump's Atlantic City casinos from going out of business--and personally saved Trump from losing a fortune.
Ross was involved in the deal that kept Trump in charge of the debt-laden Trump Taj Mahal Casino months after it opened in 1990.
Ross was a financial advisor to the bondholders who had loaned Trump $675 million to finish building the Taj Mahal, located on Atlantic City's famed and historic Boardwalk, just yards from the Atlantic Ocean.
A few months after the casino opened in April of 1990, it couldn’t overcome its massive debt and missed interest payments, risking bankruptcy.
Through the hard work and dogged persistence of Ross' negotiating, Trump struck a deal with the bondholders in November of 1990 that gave the bondholders half the equity in the casino, but allowed Trump to remain in charge.
At the time, Ross said the bondholders agreed to let Trump keep control because "he is a valuable asset," meaning the Trump brand was still golden, despite the casino's flirtation with bankruptcy.
Trump still remembers that money- and reputation-saving casino deal brokered by Ross, and has rewarded the multi-billionaire with a plum Cabinet job--Secretary of Commerce.
As Secretary, Ross will head the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is tasked with promoting American business and industry throughout the USA and around the world.
Could some of that business and industry potentially be increased gambling opportunities in the U.S., such as nationwide sports betting and Internet gambling?
Knowing both Ross' and Trump's experience with gambling, it very well just might be.
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