Where did the Donald come from? And most importantly — where did Trump get his hair? His dad? While photos only hint at a slight comb-over on Trump, Sr., there's more about him that voters might want to know about Fred Trump. Donald's father was a second-generation American who grew up in New York. He was born in the Bronx to German immigrants and at age 22 he started in the real estate business with his mother. Their company was even called Elizabeth Trump & Son Co., and she wrote the checks. As much as Donald likes to come off like a self-made man, Trump actually was molded by his father — and not just with regards to real estate.
Fred Trump and his mother started building single-family homes in Queens. They sold for under $5,000 and were known for their high quality. He made a brief foray into opening supermarkets, but then focused on building barracks and housing for U.S. Navy personnel during World War II near shipyards. After the war he began focusing on building and managing apartment buildings to house returning troops and their families. He stuck mostly to Queens and Brooklyn, with a sizable number of units near Coney Island. Later he gave Donald a loan to try and work the Manhattan market.
Much like his son, he wasn't immune to scandal. The Trump organization was accused by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission for not renting to black people. In court records, doormen claimed that they were told to discourage black renters who came to see apartments by hiking up the rent or claiming there were no vacancies. Applications sent to the main Trump office were coded by race. The Trump organization eventually reached a settlement that required vacancies be advertised in minority papers and minorities to be promoted within the organization.
Then in September this year, the website Boing Boing claimed that Fred Trump was taken into custody in 1927 after a Ku Klux Klan rally turned violent; Fred would have been 21 at the time. In an interview with The New York Times, Donald denied the story. He claimed it was unfair to mention the story because charges were never filed; he claims he'd never heard about it. "It shouldn't be written because it never happened, No. 1. And No. 2, there was nobody charged," Trump said.
Fred and his wife Mary Anne had four children in addition to Donald, who was the second youngest.
Donald's father died in June 1999, after living six years with Alzheimer's disease. His net worth was estimated at between $250 million and 300 million at the time of his death. He was 93.