One little known story and tragedy in Donald Trump’s family history involves his older brother, Fred “Freddy” Trump (second from left above, next to Donald Trump, who is on the far left).
Donald Trump has said of Freddy: “He just had everything,” Newsweek said. Trump called him the “best guy,” said the news magazine. Freddy Trump was also an alcoholic who died young.
The New York Times called Freddy Trump “a handsome, gregarious and self-destructive figure who died as an alcoholic in 1981 at the age of 43.”
Donald Trump was the second oldest son in the family, after Freddy, said The Times. Trump has three other siblings – Robert, Elizabeth, and Maryann.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Donald Trump Does Not Drink Alcohol Because of His Brother, Freddy
Trump told Newsweek that Freddy advised him not to drink.
“He would tell me, ‘Don’t ever drink. Don’t ever drink,’” Donald Trump told Newsweek. Trump told People Magazine that he now imparts the same advice to all of his children.
Donald Trump told Christian Broadcasting Network in an interview that Freddy “had everything going, but when he went to college for some reason he started drinking. That was before the drug age and before the other things…but he drank and he drank a lot and he started drinking more and more and he ultimately died of alcoholism.” As a result, Trump told CBN, “I never drank.” He called it a “defining moment.”
2. Freddy Trump Was an Airline Pilot & Married a Flight Attendant
The New York Times called Freddy Trump a “a fun-loving airline pilot with a gift for imitating W. C. Fields.”
Freddy married and then divorced an airline flight attendant, and he was Trump’s best man at his wedding to his first wife, Ivana, UK Daily Mail says. Freddy had two children, Fred and Mary, who were named for his and Donald’s parents, Daily Mail says.
3. Freddy Trump Was Originally the ‘Heir Apparent’ to the Trump Fortune
As the older brother, Freddy Trump was the one in line to inherit the family empire, said The New York Times.
“He was the life of the party,” Trump said of Freddy, according to People Magazine. “He was a fantastic guy, but he got stuck on alcohol.”
Trump has described himself as his brother’s opposite, The Hill says, and he has described Freddy Trump as a “peacemaker.” As Freddy gravitated to flying, Trump followed in his father’s real estate footsteps.
4. Donald Trump & All of His Siblings Were Groomed to Be High Achievers By Their Demanding Father
Key to the story of Donald Trump and his brother: Their hard-charging father, Frederick Trump, who built a real estate empire, Yahoo says.
Freddy didn’t have the drive of Donald, who was eight years younger, and he felt that he couldn’t match up to his father’s perfectionism, said Yahoo.
Yahoo says that Fred Sr.’s criticism “motivated” Donald but helped drive Freddy to drink.
5. Freddy’s Heirs Battled With Donald Trump Over Fred Sr.’s Will
Yahoo says Fred’s heirs were cut out of Donald’s father’s will, and Donald helped craft it, causing acrimony. Fred Sr. left $20 million when he died in 1991, but his will specifically excluded Freddy’s children, said The Hill.
Freddy Trump’s children sued, arguing that Trump and his siblings were responsible for excluding them from the will and arguing that Fred Sr. had dementia and didn’t know what he was doing, the Hill said.
Trump has said the suit was settled “amicably” but not before he withheld medical care from his brother’s sick child, according to The Daily Mail. According to The New Yorker, Trump “cut off benefits from the family health plan that were paying for the medical care of his nephew’s seriously ill young son.”