Fred Trump Jr.

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Fred Trump Jr.
Fred Trump Jr. 1966.png.jpg
Trump Jr. (left) in 1966
Frederick Crist Trump Jr.[1]

(1938-10-14)October 14, 1938
DiedSeptember 26, 1981(1981-09-26) (aged 42)
Queens, New York City, U.S.
Alma materLehigh University (BA)
OccupationPilot, maintenance worker
Linda Clapp
(m. 1962)

Frederick Crist Trump Jr. (October 14, 1938 – September 26, 1981; nicknamed "Freddy") was an American airplane pilot and maintenance worker. The eldest son to realtor Fred Trump Sr., he fell out of his father's favor when he chose to become an airline pilot. Fred Sr. then chose Fred Jr.'s younger brother Donald to take over the family business.

Early life[edit]

Frederick Crist Trump Jr. was born on October 14, 1938, as the first son of wealthy real estate developer Fred Trump and Mary Anne MacLeod Trump in Queens, New York.[1] In 1956 Fred Jr. graduated from St. Paul's School. In that same year his father Fred Sr. donated money to have the playing fields redone and in his honor were renamed Trump Field.[2] Fred Jr. attended Lehigh University and joined a historically Jewish fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu, even though he was not Jewish.[3] He became president of the fraternity and graduated with a B.A. in business, also completing ROTC and entering the Air National Guard as a second lieutenant.[4]

Pilot career[edit]

In 1958, Fred Jr. met Linda Clapp while vacationing in the Bahamas. She later became a stewardess and asked him for help finding an apartment near Idlewild Airport; they soon began dating. He proposed to her in 1961. In early 1962, they were married in Florida, and she resigned from the airline, which did not allow its stewardesses to be married. They settled in Manhattan and had their first child, Frederick Crist Trump III, in November 1962.[5] The next year, they moved into one of Fred Sr.'s apartments in Jamaica, Queens. During this time, Fred Jr. did maintenance jobs on his father's properties.[6] Fred Sr. wanted his oldest son to be "invulnerable" so he could take over his real-estate business, E. Trump & Son, but Fred Jr. was the opposite in personality.[7] In 1966, Fred Jr. was listed in newspapers as vice president of E. Trump & Son, but he had a difficult time working with his father.[8] Fred Jr. left the company to pursue his dream of being a pilot, quickly being accepted at Trans World Airlines, which created tension with his father.[9] According to Fred Jr.'s daughter, Mary L. Trump (born 1965), her grandfather "dismantled him by devaluing and degrading every aspect of his personality." Both Fred Sr. and Donald mocked him for his decision to become an airline pilot, comparing it to driving a bus or being a chauffeur.[10][11][12][13]

Alcoholism and death[edit]

Fred Trump Sr. in the 1980s

By 1970, after a series of domestic incidents, Clapp asked Fred Jr. to leave and arranged for Fred Sr. to change the locks.[14] When his alcoholism prevented him from continuing to function as a pilot, he returned to work for his father's business. He eventually moved into the unfurnished attic of his parents' house, and once again did maintenance on Trump properties.[15][16] On September 26, 1981,[15] at the age of 42, he died from a heart attack caused by his alcohol use.[17][18][a] Donald Trump, who has boasted of lifelong abstinence since 1976,[20][21] initially cited the formative influence of their father's teetotalism,[22][23] but later shifted all credit to the adult experience with his brother, claiming:

Every day he lectured me, "Look at the mess I'm in. If I ever catch you smoking, you'll be sorry, drinking even a glass of booze because you'll like it too much." ... Freddy did a good job.[24]

In 1999, just after Fred Sr.'s funeral, Fred III's son, William Trump, was born with cerebral palsy.[25] The Trump family agreed to pay for the child's medical expenses. Fred Sr.'s will was revealed, which Donald Trump helped write. It mandated that Fred Jr.'s children, Fred III and Mary, would be excluded from their father's share of Fred Sr.'s inheritance; over $20 million would be divided among Fred Sr.'s other children.[9][b] Fred III and Mary filed a lawsuit, alleging that Fred Jr.'s siblings, including Donald, used "undue influence" on a dementia-addled Fred Sr. to cut them out of the inheritance. Donald, who later said he "was angry because they sued,"[9] suspended the medical benefits for Fred Jr.'s children, as well as Fred III's infant son. According to Mary, she and Fred III sued to have the benefits reinstated, but only her infant nephew received "some accommodations" as a result.[27]



  1. ^ His death certificate states that he died on September 29 of "natural causes".[19]
  2. ^ They both received $200,000, the same amount given to each grandchild.[26]


  1. ^ a b Trump 2020, p. 31.
  2. ^ Kordes, John (March 29, 2018). "The Kordes Korner". Garden City News. Garden City, NY.
  3. ^ Gerber, Drew (August 3, 2016). "That Time Trump's Older Brother Fred Pretended To Be Jewish – To Join a Jewish Frat". The Forward. Archived from the original on January 20, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  4. ^ Trump 2020, p. 53.
  5. ^ Trump 2020, pp. 55–56.
  6. ^ Trump 2020, p. 57.
  7. ^ Trump 2020, p. 41.
  8. ^ "Fred Trump Jr". Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Horowitz, Jason (January 2, 2016). "For Donald Trump, Lessons From a Brother's Suffering". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  10. ^ Lozada, Carlos (July 9, 2020). "Review of 'Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man' by Mary L. Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  11. ^ D'Antonio, Michael (June 17, 2020). "The psychologist in the Trump family speaks". CNN. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  12. ^ Trump 2020, pp. 62, 64.
  13. ^ Kranish, Michael (August 8, 2019). "Trump has regrets that he scolded his late, alcoholic brother about his career". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  14. ^ Trump 2020, p. 85.
  15. ^ a b "Part 1: New Frontiers". Biography: The Trump Dynasty. February 25, 2019. Event occurs at 1:21. A&E.
  16. ^ Trump 2020, p. 93.
  17. ^ Blair 2015, p. 320.
  18. ^ Trump 2020, author's note
  19. ^ Trump 2020, p. 127.
  20. ^ "Donald Trump, Real Estate Promoter, Builds Image as He Buys Buildings". The New York Times. November 1, 1976.
  21. ^ "RUSH Transcript: Donald Trump //CNN Republican Presidential Town Hall Columbia, SC". CNN. February 18, 2016.
  22. ^ Trump, Donald J.; Schwartz, Tony (2009) [1987]. Trump: The Art of the Deal. New York: Random House. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-307-57533-3. I have a father who has always been a rock, very straight and very solid.... And I’m as much of a rock as my father. This was a totally different world. I remember wondering if every successful person in Manhattan was a big drinker. I figured if that was the case, I was going to have a big advantage.
  23. ^ Trump, Donald J.; Leerhsen, Charles (1990) [1990]. Trump: Surviving at the Top. New York: Random House. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-307-57533-3. Discipline is something I learned from watching my father... Long vacations, drinking, drugs—all of those things are bad for discipline.
  24. ^ "Donald Trump Talks Family, Women in Unearthed Transcript". The Hollywood Reporter (published October 13, 2016). March 10, 1994.
  25. ^ Philip Bump. "There are a lot more Trumps than you might realize".
  26. ^ Collman, Ashley (June 15, 2020). "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". Business Insider. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  27. ^ ABC News Exclusive: Mary Trump Interview with Stephanopoulos (television production). ABC News. July 16, 2020. 43 minutes in. Retrieved September 10, 2020.

Works cited[edit]