A&E is airing “Biography: The Trump Dynasty,” a 3-part special about the history of President Donald Trump’s lineage. The biography begins with the story of Trump’s immigrant grandparents, Friedrich and Elizabeth Christ Trump.
In the official A&E description of the special, they say “‘Biography: The Trump Dynasty’ draws from first-hand accounts and never-before-seen archival footage to examine the life and heritage of the 45th President of the United States. As part of the award-winning Biography series, the documentary spans three generations of the Trump family saga and offers an in-depth exploration of the influences that shaped Donald Trump’s personality, celebrity, and ambition in business and politics.”
Here’s what you need to know about Elizabeth Christ Trump:
1. She & Friedrich Immigrated to the US From Germany
Forbes quotes Gwenda Blair’s book The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a President, as writing that “Friedrich Trump was not leaving home so much as fleeing three centuries of barbaric European history. He was born and raised in the village of Kallstadt, in the region of southwestern Germany called the Pfalz, or the Palatinate in English.”
According to The Washington Post, he was only 16 when he came to America. He and Elizabeth both immigrated from the same hometown and were married in New York.
2. She Had 3 Children
Elizabeth and Friedrich had three children together: Frederick, John G., and Elizabeth. Her son Frederick is Donald Trump’s father, and he was born in 1905. According to The Washington Post, Elizabeth was pregnant with Frederick when she, Friedrich, and their young daughter Elizabeth tried to return to Germany from the US.
She raised her children in the South Bronx, New York.
3. She Passed Away in 1966
According to Geni.com, Elizabeth was born “Elisabeth Christ” on October 10, 1880. She passed away at the age of 85 in Manhasset, New York, on June 6, 1966.
Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946, which means Elizabeth was alive for the first 20 years of her grandson’s life.
4. She & Her Husband Earned Their Wealth Investing in Real Estate
According to The Washington Post, Friedrich was a barber before he immigrated to the US in search of better opportunities. Although he worked as a barber in the States at first, they report “he moved to the Pacific Northwest years later to make a name and fortune for himself during the Gold Rush era. He opened businesses — hotels, taverns and restaurants, usually located in red-light districts — in frontier mining towns.”
By the time he and Elizabeth were married and starting their family, he had accumulated wealth and become an American citizen.
5. Frederick Started His Company Under Her Name
Donald Trump’s father Frederick was only 14 when his father passed away in 1918. According to the BBC, Frederick followed his father’s footsteps in real estate; however, since he was still a minor, they say he “found[ed] a company initially under his mother’s name.” Because her husband passed away when she was only 37 years old and a mother of three, she took on the matriarch role in her family and ended up responsible for managing their property.
The BBC reports that Frederick expanded his business portfolio and increased his wealth “by building affordable housing for middle-income families along the US east coast during and after World War Two.”