Friedrich returned to Hallstatt in 1901, and by the next year, met and married Elizabeth Christ. They moved to New York City, where their first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1904.
Fred was conceived in Bavaria, where his parents wished to re-establish residency, but Friedrich was banished for dodging the draft. The family returned to New York on July 1, 1905, and moved to the Bronx, where Frederick Christ Trump was born on October 11.
At the age of 10, Fred worked as a delivery boy for a butcher. From 1918 to 1923, Fred attended Richmond Hill High School in Queens, while working as a caddy, curb whitewashed, and delivery boy.
Meanwhile, his mother continued the real estate business Frederick had begun. Interested in becoming a builder, Fred took night classes in carpentry and reading blueprints.
He also studied plumbing, masonry, and electrical wiring via correspondence courses. After graduating in January 1923, Trump obtained full-time work pulling lumber to construction sites.
He found work as a carpenter's assistant and continued his education at Pratt Institute. Trump's mother loaned him $800 to build his first house construction project, which he completed in 1924.
Elizabeth Trump held the business in her name because Fred had not reached the age of majority. That year, Trump built 20 homes in Queens, selling some houses before they were complete to finance others.
Ku Klux Klan members being confronted by police in Queens on Memorial Day 1927On Memorial Day in 1927, over a thousand Ku Klux Klan members marched in a Queens parade to protest “Native-born Protestant Americans being “assaulted by Roman Catholic police of New York City.” All seven were referred to as “be robed marchers” in the Long Island Daily Press ; Trump, detained “on a charge of refusing to disperse from a parade when ordered to do so,” was dismissed.
Another of the men, arrested on the same charge, was a bystander who had his foot run over by a police car. Multiple newspaper articles on the incident list Trump's address (in Jamaica, Queens), which he is recorded as sharing with his mother in the 1930 census and a 1936 wedding announcement.
It was modeled on Long Island's King Cullen, a self-service supermarket chain. In 1934, Trump and a partner acquired in federal court the mortgage-servicing subsidiary of Brooklyn's J. Lehrenkrauss Corporation, which had gone bankrupt and subsequently been broken up.
This gave Trump access to the titles of many properties nearing foreclosure, which he bought at low cost and sold at a profit. This and similar real estate ventures quickly thrust him into the limelight as one of New York City's most successful businessmen.
Trump made use of loan subsidies created by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) not long after the program was initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. By 1936, Trump had 400 workers digging foundations for houses that would be sold at prices ranging from $3,000 to $6,250.
Trump used his father's tactic of listing properties at prices like $3,999.99. In the late 1930s, he used a yacht called the Trump Show Boat to advertise his business off the shore of Coney Island.
Trump met his future wife Mary Anne MacLeod, an immigrant from Tong, Lewis, Scotland, at a dance party in the early to mid-1930s. Trump told his mother the same evening that he had met his future wife.
Trump, a Lutheran, married Mary, a Presbyterian, on January 11, 1936, at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church with George Arthur But trick officiating. A wedding reception was held at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan, and they had a single-night honeymoon in Atlantic City.
The couple settled in Jamaica, Queens, and had five children: Maryanne Trump Barry (born 1937; a federal judge until her retirement), Fred Trump Jr. (1938–1981), Elizabeth Trump Gray (born 1942), Donald Trump (born 1946; the 45th President of the United States) and Robert Trump (1948–2020; a top executive of his father's property management company until his retirement). Trump was a teetotaler and an authoritarian parent, maintaining curfews and forbidding cursing, lipstick, and snacking between meals.
He took his children to building sites to collect empty bottles to return for the deposits. The boys had paper routes, and when weather conditions were poor, their father would let them make their deliveries in a limousine.
Mary L. Trump states that Fred Sr. “dismantled by devaluing and degrading every aspect of his personality” and mocked him for his decision to become an airline pilot. In 1981, Fred Jr. died at age 42 from complications due to his alcoholism.
After Elizabeth's birth, and with America becoming more involved in World War II, Trump moved his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia. In 1944, as Trump's FHA funding lulled, they returned to Jamaica Estates, Queens, where Mary suffered a miscarriage.
By 1946, they were living in a five-bedroomTudor-style house Trump built in Jamaica Estates, and Trump purchased a neighboring half-acre lot, where he built a 23-room, 9-bathroom home. The family moved in 1951, and Fred and Mary remained there until their deaths.
The couple was also given an apartment on the 63rd (in reality the 55th) floor of their son Donald's Trump Tower (c. 1983), which they rarely used. During World War II, Trump built barracks and garden apartments for U.S. Navy personnel near major shipyards along the East Coast.
After the war, he expanded into middle-income housing for the families of returning veterans. From 1947 to 1949, Trump built Shore Haven in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, which included 32 six-story buildings and a shopping center, covering some 30 acres, and procuring him $9 million in FHA funding.
In 1950, he built the 23-building Beach Haven Apartments over 40 acres near Coney Island, procuring him $16 million in FHA funds. The total number of apartments included in these projects exceeded 2,700.
In early 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and other federal leaders began denouncing real estate profiteers. On June 11, The New York Times included Trump on a list of 35 city builders accused of profiteering from government contracts.
He and others were investigated by a U.S. Senate Banking committee for windfall gains. Trump and his partner William Tomatillo were cited as examples of how profits were made by builders using the FHA.
The two paid $34,200 for a piece of land which they rented to their corporation for $76,960 annually in a 99-year lease, so that if the apartment they built on it ever defaulted, the FHA would owe them $1.924 million. Trump and Tomatillo evidently obtained loans for $3.5 million more than Beach Haven Apartments had cost.
Trump argued that because he had not withdrawn the money, he had not literally pocketed the profits. He further argued that due to rising costs, he would have had to invest more than the 10% of the mortgage loan not provided by the FHA, and therefore suffer a loss if he built under those conditions.
After Trump overestimated building costs sponsored by a state program, he profited $598,000 on equipment rentals in the construction of Trump Village, which was then spent on other projects. Under testimony on January 27, 1966, Trump said that he had personally done nothing wrong and praised the success of his building project.
The commission called Trump “a pretty shrewd character” with a “talent for getting every ounce of profit out of his housing project,” but no indictments were made. Instead, tighter administration protocols and accountability in the state's housing program were called for.
Fred's son Donald joined his father's real estate business around 1968, initially working in Brooklyn, and rising to become company president in 1971. He entered the real estate business in Manhattan, while his father stuck to Brooklyn and Queens.
In the mid-1970s, Donald received loans from his father exceeding $14 million. In 2015–16, during his campaign for U.S. president, Donald claimed that his father had given him “a small loan of a million dollars,” which he used to build “a company that's worth more than $10 billion,” denying that he had inherited $200 million from his father.
An October 2018 New York Times exposé on Fred and DonaldTrump's finances concludes that Donald “was a millionaire by age 8,” and that he had received $413 million (adjusted for inflation) from Fred's business empire over his lifetime, including over $60 million ($140 million in 2018 currency) in loans, which were largely reimbursed. Minority applicants turned away from renting apartments complained to the New York City Commission on Human Rights and the Urban League, leading these groups to send test applicants to Trump -owned complexes in July 1972.
They found that white people were offered apartments, while black people were generally turned away (by being told there were no vacancies); according to the superintendent of Beach Haven Apartments, this was at the direction of his boss. Both of the aforementioned advocacy organizations then raised the issue with the Justice Department.
In October 1973, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil rights suit against the Trump Organization (Fred Trump, chair, and Donald Trump, president) for infringing the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Some three dozen former Trump employees were interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Some testified that they had no knowledge of any racial profiling practices, and that a small percentage of their apartments were rented to blacks or Puerto Ricans. A former doorman testified that his supervisor had instructed him to tell prospective black tenants that the rent was double its actual amount.
A rental agent who had worked with the company for two weeks said that when he asked Fred Trump if he should rent to blacks, he was told that it was “absolutely against the law to discriminate,” but after asking again, he was instructed “not to rent to blacks,” and was further advised to: Get rid of the of blacks that were in the building by telling them cheap housing was available for them at only $500 down payment, which Trump would offer to pay himself.
Finally, it ordered the Trumps to “thoroughly acquaint themselves personally on a detailed basis with ... the Fair Housing Act of 1968.” In early 1976, Trump was ordered by a county judge to correct code violations in a 504-unit property in Seat Pleasant, Maryland.
According to the county's housing department investigator, violations included broken windows, dilapidated gutters, and missing fire extinguishers. After a court date and a series of phone calls with Trump, he was invited to the property to meet with county officials in September 1976 and arrested on site.
In 1987, when Donald's loan debt to his father exceeded $11 million, Fred invested $15.5 million in Trump Palace Condominiums and sold these shares to his son for $10,000, thus appearing to avoid millions of dollars of taxes on Donald's behalf by masking a hidden donation and benefiting from an illegal tax write-off. In late 1990, when an $18.4 million bond payment for Trump's Castle was due, Fred used a bookkeeper to purchase $3.5 million in casino chips, placing no bet, helping Donald avoid defaulting on his bonds; this action, illegal in New Jersey, resulted in a $65,000 fine.
Trump (left) and other realtors at a New York and Brooklyn federation Jewish charity dinner in 1941Fred and Mary Trump supported medical charities by donating buildings. After Mary received medical care at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, they donated the Trump Pavilion; Fred was also a trustee of the hospital.
The couple donated a two-building complex in Brooklyn as a home for “functionally retarded adults” and other buildings to the National Kidney Foundation of New York and New Jersey. The Cerebral Palsy Foundation of New York and New Jersey also received a building.
In 2018, The New York Times reported in an exposé on Trump's financial records that they had found no evidence that he had made any significant financial contributions to charities. In 1976, Trump set up trust funds of $1 million ($4.5 million in 2019 currency) for each of his five children and three grandchildren, which paid out yearly dividends.
In December 1990, Donald sought to amend his father's will, which according to Maryanne Trump Barry, “was basically taking the whole estate and giving it to Donald,” allowing him to “sell, do anything he wants ... with the properties.” The Washington Post wrote that this “was designed to protect Donald Trump ’s inheritance from efforts to seize it by creditors and Ivana,” whom he divorced that month.
In October 1991, Trump was diagnosed with “mild senile dementia “, displaying symptoms such as forgetfulness. Trump began to suffer from Alzheimer's disease around 1993, by which time the anticipated shares of Trump's estate amounted to $35 million for each surviving child.
In 1997, Trump transferred ownership of most of his apartment buildings, valued at just $41.4 million, to his four surviving children. He was admitted to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, where he died at age 93 on June 25.
His funeral was held at the Marble Collegiate Church, and was attended by over 600 people. His body is buried in a family plot at the Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens.
His will divided over $20 million after taxes among his surviving children and grandchildren. His widow, Mary, died on August 7, 2000, in New Hyde Park, New York, at age 88.
Following Trump's death, Fred Jr.'s children contested his will, citing his dementia and claiming that the will was “procured by fraud and undue influence” by Donald, Maryanne, and Robert Trump. These three had claimed in their legal depositions that Fred Trump was “sharp as a tack” until just before his death, with Donald specifically denying any knowledge of his father's mental decline, including his 1991 dementia diagnosis.
Barry later privately admitted she knew her father had dementia at the time. Mary L. Trump recounts that in later years her grandfather forgot people he had known for decades, including her, whom he referred to as “nice lady”.
In 2020, she sued Donald, Maryanne, and the estate of Robert Trump for having allegedly conspired to both devalue her inheritance from her grandfather and coerce her to sign a settlement, possibly depriving her of tens of millions of dollars. Hundreds of millions in gift taxes were effectively dodged by undervaluing the assets.
In October 2018, The New York Times published an exposé which shows that Fred and Mary provided their children with over $1 billion altogether, which should have been taxed at the rate of 55% for gifts and inheritances (over $550 million), but records show that a total of only $52.2 million (about 5%) was paid. DonaldTrump's lawyer denied allegations of fraud and tax evasion, claiming that “President Trump had virtually no involvement whatsoever with these matters.
The affairs were handled by other Trump family members who were not experts themselves and therefore relied entirely upon ”. New York State could prosecute individuals on the basis of intentional tax evasion if a fraudulent return form can be produced as evidence; the statute of limitations does not apply in such cases.
In her book, Mary, a clinical psychologist, diagnoses Fred as a high-functioning sociopath. In October 2016, in response to Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI released a small file it had on Trump.
It includes a 1986 New York Daily News article on Trump Management's campaign donations of over $350,000 to New York mayor Ed Koch ; the bureau was also possibly concerned about ties to organized crime, but much of the relevant information is redacted. By early 2017, the FBI had also declassified 389 pages from its 1970s investigation of alleged racial discrimination by Trump's company.
^ Aboard the SS Pennsylvania ^ Glenda Blair notes that these were all white but of varying national origin. ^ An airline pilot with Trans World Airlines ^ A retired executive of ^ According to Timothy L. O'Brien's review of Mary L. Trump's Too Much and Never Enough (2020), “Fred Sr., a teetotaler, kept an elegant bar outfitted with everything but alcohol”.
^ According to Mary L. Trump's 2020 book, Fred called people of color who wished to rent from him “die Schwarz” ('the Black'). ^ Trump personally requested that a lease agreement not be made unless the tenant had a monthly income four times the rent.
^ Former employees were asked whether Jewish applicants were shown preference; one former employee felt that such applicants “had an easier time of getting an apartment than anyone else.” ^ The agent also testified that Trump suggested removing families by charging late fees on rent so that a disposition notice could be issued.
^ According to the vice president of the subsidiary company responsible for the property, it had recently seen an increase in low-income tenants. ^ The New York Times reported in their 2018 exposé on Trump's financial records that his donation of Patio Gardens, one of his least profitable properties, to the National Kidney Foundation was “one of the largest charitable donations he ever made.
^ Fred Jr.'s children both received $200,000, the same amount given to each grandchild, but were excluded from Mary Trump's will. ^ Including New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Trump family biographer Glenda Blair ^ In late 2016, Nell Shovel reported in Esquire that she was unable to find the Trump family plot at the Faiths Cemetery, with its president telling her “This is not a public space,” despite the cemetery's website listing Trump as a notable individual and offering to show visitors the graves of such persons upon request.
Mary L. Trump writes in her 2020 memoir that she provided the Times with 19 boxes of these financial records. ^ Donald Trump cannot be prosecuted while he is the President of the United States, which shields him from tax-related criminal charges.
Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father ". “Historian finds German decree banishing Trump's grandfather”.
“Fred Trump Taught His Son the Essentials of Showboating Self-Promotion”. “Fred C. Trump, Postwar Master Builder of Housing for Middle Class, Dies at 93”.
They also sold for E. Trump & Son a Colonial type dwelling on Wall Street to William Color for occupancy. E. Trump & Son Company, Inc., of Jamaica, has been formed with $50,000 capital to deal in realty.
“In 1927, Donald Trump's Father Was Arrested After a Klan Riot in Queens”. “All the Evidence We Could Find About Fred Trump's Alleged Involvement with the KKK”.
“1927 news report: Donald Trump's dad arrested in KKK brawl with cops”. Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Road, Jamaica, was discharged.
^ “Warren Ordered Police to Block Parade by Klan”. “In Interview, Donald Trump Denies Report of Father's Arrest in 1927”.
Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power. Trump the Builder Plays Mothers as Ace Cards”.
“Retiring as a Judge, Trump's Sister Ends Court Inquiry Into Her Role in Tax Dodges”. Trump sister sells oceanfront Southampton Beach home for $3.8M”.
What You Need To Know About Maryanne, Freddy, Elizabeth And Robert Trump ". Donald Trump's German and Scottish Family Tree”.
“Mary Trump's Guided Tour Into Her Uncle Donald's Troubled Mind”. “Review of 'Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man' by Mary L. Trump ".
“I visited Trump's childhood neighborhood on the outskirts of NYC, and it didn't take long to see why he's called it an 'oasis “. ^ Abelson, Max; Trucker, Jesse; Wider, Zachary R. (October 25, 2016).
“Inside Trump Tower, the Center of the Billionaire's Universe”. ^ “Fact Check: Trump's dad was not born in Germany”.
“The Unbelievable Story of Why Woody Guthrie Hated Donald Trump's Dad”. “The myth and the reality of Donald Trump's business empire”.
“FBI releases thin file on Donald Trump's father, Fred”. Trump's Father Helped GOP Candidate With Numerous Loans”.
Trump's false claim he built his empire with a 'small loan' from his father ". “Inside the Government's Racial Bias Case Against Donald Trump's Company, and How He Fought It”.
“Like Father, Like Son: Anatomy of a Young Power Broker”. “The FBI released hundreds of pages related to a 1970s housing discrimination lawsuit against Trump ".
“The Swedish Whopper: Donald Trump's Long-standing Struggle With the Truth” (print and online). Trump Family Donated Billy to Jewish, Israeli Causes”.
“The Ups And Downs Of Donald Trump : Three Decades On And Off The Forbes 400”. Donald Trump, facing financial ruin, sought control of his elderly father's estate.
Trump's niece is publishing a tell-all book that says she leaked tax documents to help The New York Times investigate the president's finances”. ^ a b Kari, Annie; Rogers, Katie (July 28, 2021).
“Like Father, Like Son: President Trump Lets Others Mourn”. “Queens Cemetery Workers Say They've Lost Their Benefits Amid State Probe”.
“Mary Trump sues President and his siblings for fraud, calling it the family 'way of life “. ^ Bar stow, David; Craig, Susanne; Better, Russ (October 2, 2018).
“New York could levy hefty penalties if Trump tax fraud is proven”. Trump could be in a lot of legal hot water if he loses the election”.
“Woody Guthrie Wrote of His Contempt for His Landlord, Donald Trump's Father ". Donald Trump's behavior was shaped by his 'sociopath' father, niece writes in bombshell book”.