To know Donald Trump, one must know his family background. The Trump family story is a very American story.
Trump family history - concise version.
* Donald Trump's grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Alsace (Kallstadt, Germany) which throughout history has been alternately French and
German. The Trumps are German, originally speaking the same German dialect as the Amish of Lancaster County, PA.
* His maternal grandparents lived in Scotland.
* Freiderich (Drumph) Trump made a small but respectable fortune in the late 19th Century in the mining boom towns of the American Northwest.
* He returned to Germany to marry his childhood neighbor, Elizabeth Christ.
* The newly married Trumps resettled in the Borough of Queens NY.
* Freidrich was establishing a real estate business in Queens when he died suddenly at age 49 (1918).
* In 1920, at the age of 15, Fred Trump (Freiderich's son and Donald's father), started a business partnership with his widowed mother called
Elizabeth Trump & Son.
* This business was built upon the real estate holdings that his father, Frederich, had amassed (worth about $500,000.00 in today's dollars).
This is the original "seed money" of the current Trump organization.
* Elizabeth & Fred remained close business partners her entire life (she died in 1966).
* In 1936 Fred Trump (age 31) married Mary Ann MacLeod (age 24) of Stoneaway Scotland.
* During the depression, Fred Trump built and successfully operated a supermarket (a new concept at the time) which was sold to King Kullen Co. and is still operational.
* Fred Trump made a considerable money building housing for the military during WWII.
* Fred Trump was investigated by the Justice Department for making "excessive profits" from government contracts.
* All (or nearly all) of the building of Elizabeth Trump & Son's non-government building was residential property in Queens.
* Fred Trump died in 1999 (age 94) - beloved and worth between $250 million and $300 million. His wife died a year later.