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EntertainmentCELEBRITYThe Trumps: How America's first family arrived in New York on a...

The Trumps: How America’s first family arrived in New York on a steamship from Germany in 1885 and built a sprawling empire in 4 generations

  • Donald Trump‘s grandfather moved to the US from Germany in a steamship in 1885.
  • In the 135 years since then, the family has produced real-estate magnates, one federal judge, and the current president of the United States.
  • Mary Trump, President Trump’s niece, made headlines when she released a book about the Trump family in July. The book catalogs many stories about Trump and his siblings while they were growing up and their “toxic” family. 
  • Trump is one of five children born to Fred Trump and Mary Anne McLeod. His siblings are Maryanne, Fred Jr., Elizabeth, Donald, and Robert.
  • Trump himself has five kids: Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka from his marriage to Ivana Marie Zelníčková; Tiffany from his marriage to Marla Maples; and Barron from his marriage to Melania Knauss.
  • The White House and Trump Organization didn’t immediately respond to request for comment from Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Donald Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump — born Friedrich Drumpf — emigrated to the US from Germany in 1885 at the age of 16.

Friedrich Trump
Friedrich Trump.  Wikimedia Commons

Friedrich Trump was born in Kallstadt, Germany, and came to New York on a steamship, according to Post reporter Kristine Phillips 

“He didn’t know English. He couldn’t possibly have known English. He didn’t have anything like a high school diploma. He was literate, but in German,” Gwenda Blair, the author behind the 2000 book “The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire,” told the Washington Post.

Friedrich Trump’s family in Germany had modest means and ran a small vineyard, per Phillips. He lived with his older sister on the Lower East Side in Manhattan after coming to New York.

A few years later, Friedrich moved to the Pacific Northwest, where he ran multiple businesses, like restaurants and hotels, across the region in former mining towns during the Gold Rush.

For years, the family said they were Swedish.

Kallstadt
An aerial view of the Salvator Church of Kallstadt, Germany, 11 January 2018. 

Per a 2016 New York Times story, the Trump family for years said they were Swedish.

Jason Horowitz, the author of the Times story, noted that this is said to have been born of a desire to make good with their Jewish friends and customers.

“He had a lot of Jewish tenants and it wasn’t a good thing to be German in those days,” John Walter, Donald Trump’s cousin, said of Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father, talking about the time between World War II and the 1980s.

The Trump family’s roots can be traced back to Kallstadt, a small German hamlet. The town also produced Johann Heinrich Heinz whose son Henry J. Heinz is the man behind Heinz ketchup, according to Sally McGrane of the New Yorker.

Donald Trump married his first wife Ivana Marie Zelníčková, a former skier and model, in 1977. Born and raised in Czechoslovakia, Ivana became a US citizen in 1988.

trump ivana children
Family portrait of Ivana Trump, Eric Trump, Donald Trump, and Ivanka Trump at Mar-a-Lago in 1998. 

Ivana and Trump were married for 14 years and have three children together: Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka. The couple broke up amid reports of infidelity on Trump’s part.

During their marriage, Ivana was involved in her husband’s business in varying capacities — running various hotels and casinos, and designing the interiors of properties. 

In 2017, Ivana said that President Trump had made her an offer to be the ambassador to the Czech republic. She turned it down because “it’s four years in Prague, so bye-bye to Miami, bye-bye to New York in spring and fall, bye-bye to Saint-Tropez in summer,” she told The New York Post.

Ivana published a book titled “Raising Trump” in 2017 about raising her children. “Donald might not have been the greatest husband to me, but he was a good father to the kids,” she wrote.

Ivanka Trump, Trump’s oldest daughter, is a Senior Advisor to her father.

Ivanka Trump
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he believed his daughter, Ivanka Trump, would make a “dynamite” ambassador to the UN. 

Named Ivana after her mother, she goes by her nickname, “Ivanka.”

Ivanka, 38, attended Georgetown University for two years. She transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where she secured a degree in economics. 

Ivanka starting modeling as a teenager and walked the runway for Versace, Business Insider previously reported.

She’s also dabbled with helping the Trump Organization in deals and negotiations as well as starting her own lifestyle brand — The Ivanka Trump Collection. 

After assuming her role in the White House, she stepped down from both the Trump Organization and her fashion line. When Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and others dropped her fashion line, citing poor sales, she shut down her brand in 2018.

She’s married to real estate developer Jared Kushner, who is also a senior advisor to the president. They have three children: Arabella, Joseph, and Theodore. 

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, Trump’s sons, have taken charge of running the Trump Organization during their father’s presidential term.

Donald Jr., 42, and Eric, 36, went to the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University, respectively. They’re both executive vice presidents at Trump Organization. 

Donald Jr. was married to actress and model Vanessa Trump for 13 years and has five children with her. He’s currently in a relationship with former Fox News television host Kimberly Guilfoyle. Guilfoyle was formerly married to the Democratic governor of California, Gavin Newsom.

Eric is married to television producer Lara Trump and has two children with her. In 2018, E News called them “the most normal, least controversial couple” in the Trump family. He has made media appearances on networks like Fox and CNN to defend statements made by his father.

Eric was involved with his father’s 2020 reelection campaign, specifically with establishing a rapport with high profile donors and campaign finances, as Business Insider previously reported.

Per a Wall Street Journal story, Eric called 2019 a very profitable year for Trump Organization. In a statement to WSJ, Trump called Eric “an outstanding young man who has never let [him] down.”

Brian Spegele and Rebecca Ballhaus reported for the WSJ that after the economy recovers and once Trump has left public office, the organization will focus on expanding its luxury hotel business. In the meantime, Eric has been tasked with the tricky business of reopening properties post coronavirus shutdowns.

Trump married Marla Maples in 1993. The two separated after four years of marriage, according to a 1999 New York Post story.

tiffany trump marla maples
Marla Maples and her young daughter Tiffany Trump in November 1995. 

Their daughter, Tiffany, was born in October 1993. Two months later, the couple got married at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman wrote that “where Ivana was the austere European with royal aspirations, Maples was a beauty queen from the Bible Belt.” 

After separating from Trump in 1997, Maples raised Tiffany in California. Tiffany, now 26, graduated from Georgetown Law School in May 2020. 

Speaking to the Times in 2019, Marla said, “I’m not in the White House. I have friends on both sides. I will just walk in the middle. I’ll do everything I can to remind people that any type of anger or judgment can truly have such a negative impact on ourselves, and absolutely on our environment.”

Trump has been married to Melania Trump, born Knauss, since 2005. They have one son, Barron Trump, who is 14.

melania trump
First lady Melania Trump visits the historical site of the Giza Pyramids in Giza, near Cairo, Egypt. Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. 

Melania Trump was born in Slovenia and moved to New York in 1996 when she was 26 years old. Her White House profile says she appeared in “high profile ad campaigns and [worked] with some of the best photographers in the fashion industry.”

Per a Brides story, Melania and Trump met when he was on a date with another woman. Guests at their wedding included Bill and Hillary Clinton.

One of her most widely-known efforts as the First Lady is the “Be Best” initiative focused on “major issues facing children today.”

The program has been criticized for lack of proper policy or a path towards concrete legislation. In May 2020, CNN’s Kate Bennett wrote that “most of its accomplishments in terms of advancing funding for children’s issues under the banner of ‘Be Best’ come via partnerships with programs that already exist within the federal government.”

Washington Post correspondent Mary Jordan published a book titled “The Art of Her Deal” in June 2020 that includes accounts of Melania renegotiating the terms of her prenup after Trump’s 2016 election win and a contentious relationship between with Ivanka. 

Original article from Businessinsider

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