Monday, October 19, 2015

Donaald Trump's German Immigrant Grandfather and Father's Inherited Wealth Revisited

Ultra-rich television celebrity deal-maker turned 2016 Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump has apparently been scapegoating immigrants in recent months for the failure of the current U.S.corporate capitalist economic system to bring back prosperity and affluence for working-class and middle-class people in the United States in 2015.

Yet, ironically, Donald Trump's grandfather, Fred Trump I, was apparently a white real estate business deal-maker who was a late 19th-century immigrant from Germany. And when Donald Trump's grandfather died in 1918, Donald Trump's father, Fred Trump II, apparently inherited a lot of real estate property and money from Donald Trump's white German immigrant grandfather. As the 1992 book Trump: The Deals and The Downfall by Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett observed:

"...Trump mythology--promulgated first in Fred Trump [II] interviews in the forties and fifties, and later embellished by Donald [Trump]--would depict Fred as a struggling carpenter's helper who miraculously lifted himself by his teenaged bootstraps into a leading role in Queens home building. In fact, Fred's father, also named Fred, who had emigrated from 1885, already had substantial real estate holdings before he died of pneumonia in May 1918, only 49-years-old.

"The senior Trump held 14 mortgages at the time of his death, valued at over $20,000 [in early 20th-century money]; owned outright 6 pieces of property, including several buildable lots; had deposits totaling over $3,500 in three different bank accounts; and owned 50 shares of preferred stock valued at $3,662. With life insurance policies and loans due him, the total value of Trump's estate exceeded $36,000 [equivalent to over $840,000 in 2015 dollars], a small fortune at the time. While Trump legend would describe him as the operator of `a moderately successful restaurant,' his death certificate accurately listed his occupation as `the real estate business.'...

"This was hardly the only misconception in the biography of Donald's father, Fred {Trump II], sewn together over time by the family. He would be born in New York to Swedish parents, when in fact he was born in the Bronx to German parents (his mother, Elizabeth, was born in Germany in 1880)..."

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