Fred Trump

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Fred Trump (Jr.)
Born Frederick Christ Trump (Jr.)
(1905-10-11)October 11, 1905
Woodhaven, New York, U.S.
Died June 25, 1999(1999-06-25) (aged 93)
New Hyde Park, New York, U.S.
Occupation Founder of Elizabeth Trump & Son Co.
Net worth Increase $250-$300 million (1999)
Spouse(s) Mary Anne MacLeod Trump
Children 5

Frederick Christ "Fred" Trump (Jr.) (October 11, 1905 - June 25, 1999) was an American real estate developer and the father of billionaire businessman and 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Early life[edit]

Trump was born in the Woodhaven neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens, to German immigrants Friedrich Drumpf (March 14, 1869 – March 30, 1918) and Elizabeth Christ (October 10, 1880 – June 6, 1966), who were married in 1902 in Kallstadt, in the southwest of Germany.[1] Trump's father Friedrich Drumpf emigrated to New York City in 1885 and worked as a barber for six years, becoming a naturalized US citizen in 1892 under the anglicized name Frederick Trump after moving to Seattle, Washington in 1891 and running a restaurant in the red light district which a family biographer descibed as "decadent".[2] In July 1897 after hearing of the Klondike Gold Rush, he ran another restaurant for arriving prospectors, then in April 1898 moved to Bennett, British Columbia, running the Arctic Restaurant and Hotel, which offered fancy food and lodging amid a sea of tents. "For single men the Arctic has excellent accommodations as well as the best restaurant in Bennett, but I would not advise respectable women to go there to sleep as they are liable to hear that which would be repugnant to their feelings – and uttered, too, by the depraved of their own sex"', he wrote in a letter to the Yukon Sun newspaper.

In 1900 the 150-mile-long White Pass and Yukon Railroad between Bennett and White Horse, Alaska was completed, allowing Trump to establish the White Horse Restaurant and Inn.[3][4]

In 1901, sensing the end of the gold rush, Trump Sr. sold his investments and used the proceeds to return to Germany. After marriage to his old neighbor Elizabeth Christ in 1902 he emigrated again, settling down in Woodhaven, Queens, where Fred Trump, Jr. was born in 1905. Trump Sr. died of pneumonia in 1918 during the Spanish Flu Epidemic.

Business career[edit]

In 1920 at age 15, Trump went into the real estate development and construction business, forming Elizabeth Trump & Son Co. with his mother, who was an active partner, writing the checks. Their success allowed him to send his younger brother John George Trump (1907-1985) to Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, then to Columbia University for his master's, and to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his Ph.D. After attempting to work together, building a couple of houses together, John switched to electrical engineering, going on to partner with Robert J. Van de Graaff and build one of the first million-volt X-ray generators.

In the late 1920s, Trump began building single-family houses in Queens, which were sold for $3,990 each. By the mid-1930s in the middle of the Great Depression, he helped pioneer the concept of supermarkets with the Trump Market in Woodhaven, which advertised "Serve Yourself and Save!", becoming an instant hit. After only a year Trump sold it for a tidy profit to the King Kullen supermarket chain.

During World War II, Trump built barracks and garden apartments for U.S. Navy personnel near major shipyards along the East Coast, including Chester, Pennsylvania, Newport News, Virginia, and Norfolk, Virginia. After the war he expanded into middle-income housing for the families of returning veterans, building Shore Haven in Bensonhurst in 1949, and Beach Haven near Coney Island in 1950 (a total of 2,700 apartments). In 1963 he built the 3,800-apartment Trump Village in Coney Island, competing with Lefrak City in Queens.

Trump went on to build and operate affordable rental housing via large apartment complexes in New York City, including more than 27,000 low-income multifamily apartments and row houses in the neighborhoods of Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay, Flatbush, and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, and Flushing and Jamaica Estates in Queens.[5] In 1968 his 22-year-old son Donald Trump joined his company Trump Management Co., becoming president in 1974, and renaming it The Trump Organization in 1980. In the mid-1970s he lent his son money, allowing him to go into the real estate business in Manhattan, while he stuck to Brooklyn and Queens. "It was good for me," he later commented. "You know, being the son of somebody, it could have been competition to me. This way, I got Manhattan all to myself."[6]

Although a self-made millionaire, Trump was known for his frugality, saving unused nails, doing his own extermination work and mixing his own floor cleaners. Nevertheless, he insisted on buying a new Navy Cadillac every three years, with license plate "FCT".[7] By the time of his death, Trump was estimated to have amassed a fortune worth $250 to $300 million.[5]

Personal life[edit]

In 1936 Trump married British immigrant Mary Anne MacLeod (born May 10, 1912, Stornoway, Scotland – died August 7, 2000, New Hyde Park, New York),[8] having five children,[9][10] Maryanne Trump Barry (1937-) (who became a federal appeals court judge), Frederick "Fred" Trump Jr. (III) (1938–81), Elizabeth Trump Grau (1942-),[11] an executive at Chase Manhattan Bank, Donald Trump (1946-), and Robert S. Trump (1948-), president of his father's property management company.

Trump suffered from Alzheimer's disease for six years before his death from pneumonia in June 1999[5] at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York.[12]

References[edit]

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