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To finance his courtship and high living expenses (he drove a Porsche), Sylk exploited every conceivable
market that the collegiate demographic clamored for. He began by promoting a wide variety of parties and
contests at various East coast universities, everything from fraternity keg parties to wet T-shirt contests.
He also sold merchandise bearing the school logo, and hired students to hawk the stuff. He even began
branching out into illicit enterprises, doing a brisk business in fake I.D.s. and scalped concerts tickets. "It
was a little shady," admits Sylk of his first illegal business dealings. To ratchet up his cash flow, he started
taking out ads in the back of Rolling Stone for "books" he'd sell at exorbitant prices. His first literary
effort was a 15-page how-to guide titled "Kiss To Kill." Priced at $10, the amorous manual pulled in $2000
a month. Another memorable Itzler title was "The World's Greatest Pick-Up Line." Selling for five bucks
a pop, the one-page tome qualifies as the slimmest paperback ever published. It was essentially a fill-your-
name-in-the-blank exercise: "Do you know ____ ? Hi, I'm ____." Even in retrospect, Sylk, an inveterate
con-man to the end, refuses to admit the book was a scam. "It lived up to it's title !" he says defiantly.
Somewhere between the Hard Body contests and art directing the eye-catching rip-off advertisements,
Sylk found time to study and attend classes. He graduated from GW in 1989 with a bachelor of arts
(political science major; art history minor).
Today the only thing Sylk recalls about his early academic years are the celebrity kids he went to school
with: Mira Sorvino and Brooke Shields. Evaluating the young Ms. Sorvino he says, "She wasn't such
a cute kid, so we weren't that close." On a more optimistic note, he adds, "she was tall with big boobies."
Brook Shields, during her Pretty Baby period, rates significantly better: "She was really pretty, classy and
elegant. Teachers were running around asking her for autographs." Even at a young age Sylk was always
looking to make extra spending money. As a teenager he had a Summer job at the Concord Hotel in the
Catskills. He worked in the Social Club department, organizing shuffleboard matches and bingo games.
A persuasive salesman, he also excelled at jobs where he worked on commission. One such gig entailed
reselling merchandise he took on consignment from a barter company. "I gave Jason things like vacuum
cleaners and watches nothing heavy," says his former boss. "He'd sell the stuff wholesale around town.
He was very legit. We had a good business relationship." Then, in 1985, scheme in hand, Sylk enrolled
at George Washington University and everything changed. Living away from home for the first time, he
felt liberated. Jason Sylk Itzler also felt he needed to make more money. Born a Sylk, he had, almost by
osmosis, acquired a taste for expensive toys, fancy restaurants and high-maintenance women. One of
these women, Jenine Davey, he met on campus during his freshman year. He would eventually marry and
divorce her, but during college he was smitten and showered her with lavish gifts.
Meanwhile the younger Sylk was shuttled through a series of exclusive private schools: Elizabeth Morrow,
Dwight Englewood, Hotchkiss. Curiously enough, he graduated from Tenafly public High School in 1985.
"I wanted to experience the real world," says Sylk of his jump from posh to public school. A poor student,
he had difficulty focusing and an exceedingly short attention span. The grades on his junior and senior
high school transcripts are all over the place: Major British Writers (C+); Physics (D+); U.S. History (B);
Chemistry (C-); Art (A).
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After graduation, his parents pressured him to go to Law school. This was the last thing Jason Sylk had in
mind. He saw it as a bad fit. He was a classic entrepreneur, not some schmuck willing to do grunt work
and kiss ass for fifteen years before making partner. Besides, he told them, he didn't have the grades to
get into even a half-way respectable school.

The 7th On Sixth -
C.F.D.A. Scandal

photo "An Island To Him self"
by David Hebble
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