Donald Trump’s Grandfather: Unraveling the History of Friedrich Trump

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Donald Trump’s Grandfather: Unraveling the History of Friedrich Trump

Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, has come from a family with roots deeply embedded in American history. While much attention has been given to his immediate family, it is worth exploring the fascinating story of his grandfather, Friedrich Trump. From humble beginnings to entrepreneurial success, Friedrich’s journey provides key insights into the perseverance and ambition that would later define the Trump family legacy.

Early Life and Emigration

Friedrich Trump, originally named Friedrich Drumpf, was born on March 14, 1869, in the small village of Kallstadt, Germany. He grew up in a family that primarily worked as vintners, cultivating vineyards amidst the scenic countryside of the German region of Palatinate.

In search of better opportunities, a 16-year-old Friedrich decided to leave Germany and venture to the United States. In 1885, he arrived in New York City, joining the influx of immigrants seeking a fresh start in the rapidly growing nation.

Like many immigrants of his time, Friedrich began his American journey with menial jobs, such as working as a barber. Yet, his true entrepreneurial spirit soon started to shine through.

From Barbering to Real Estate Pioneering

After working as a barber for a few years, Friedrich Trump migrated westward to Seattle, Washington, which was experiencing a boom due to the Klondike Gold Rush. Recognizing an opportunity, he opened a high-end restaurant called “The Poodle Dog,” capitalizing on the demand for luxury dining among prospectors.

However, Friedrich’s ambition did not stop with the restaurant business. He wisely invested his profits in real estate, realizing the potential of the rapidly growing city. He bought up properties and land, making astute business moves that earned him considerable wealth and respect within the community.

With his sights set on even greater achievements, Friedrich Trump relocated once again, this time to Bennett, British Columbia. He capitalized on the mass influx of gold miners by opening a hotel and restaurant, swiftly adding to his growing fortune.

However, Friedrich’s time in Bennett was short-lived. The Klondike Gold Rush eventually waned, causing a decline in the region’s population and economic activity. Recognizing the signs, he swiftly sold his ventures and returned to Seattle.

Legacy and Family

Friedrich Trump’s financial success allowed him to build a firm foundation for the Trump family. In 1902, he married Elizabeth Christ, herself a second-generation German immigrant. The couple went on to have three children: Fred Jr., Elizabeth, and Donald, the future President of the United States.

In 1904, Friedrich and Elizabeth Trump moved to New York City, settling in the Queens borough. Friedrich continued to invest in real estate, particularly in Queens and Brooklyn. He built and managed various residential buildings, establishing himself as a prominent figure in the city’s real estate industry.

Tragically, Friedrich Trump’s life was cut short at the age of 49 due to the Spanish flu pandemic that swept the nation in 1918. Despite his untimely demise, his legacy continued through his children, who carried forward his entrepreneurial spirit and determination.


Friedrich Trump’s journey from a small German village to becoming a successful real estate entrepreneur in the United States is a true testament to the resilience and ambition of the Trump family. He not only made significant contributions to the development of Seattle and New York City but also laid the foundation for the success that would be achieved by his children and, ultimately, his grandson, Donald Trump.

Recognizing the sacrifices and achievements of previous generations helps us understand the context in which people like Donald Trump come to hold positions of power and influence. By delving into the past, we gain a deeper understanding of the legacies and histories that shape the present.

Sources: Wikipedia – Frederick Trump, – Donald Trump’s German Roots, BBC – The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Nominee

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Donald Trump’s Grandfather: Unraveling the History of Friedrich Trump