Donald Trump is now President of the United States, the most powerful position in the world. Meet the Trumps: From Immigrant to President goes back to his roots tracing the Trump family history. From penniless German settlers to billionaire tycoons, this tale of brothels, hustlers, tragedy and divorce is also an extraordinary immigrant success story. If you think you know Donald Trump, wait until you meet his family.

The story begins with Trump’s German grandfather Friedrich Trump, arriving in New York from Germany with a single suitcase in 1885 at the age of 16. Friedrich heads West and makes his fortune in the gold rush, opening hotels that cater to the hard working and hard drinking miners.

Eventually, with his nest egg secured Friedrich returns to New York and sets up a small property business. By 1918, his real estate deals have made him half a million dollars in today’s money. But at the age of 49, Friedrich Trump dies in the Spanish Flu epidemic. The business is left to his wife and 12-year-old son, Fred.
 

SCENE FROM THE FILM: The beginning of Fred Trump's fortune.

Over the next 30 years, Fred makes a great success of the family business. He takes full advantage of government projects designed to lift America out of the Great Depression and provide homes for war veterans. It’s into this fierce hyper-capitalist world that Donald Trump arrives in 1946. He’s the second eldest son of five siblings, born to a Scottish immigrant mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, who travelled to America from the Isle of Lewis in 1930. Attractive, fierce and determined to better herself, Mary met Fred Trump at a dance when she was still working as a domestic servant.

Meet the Trumps: From Immigrant to President also tells the story of Donald’s older brother. As the eldest son Freddy is expected to take over the family empire but property management holds little appeal to him. According to Donald Trump, his brother was too nice and “people took advantage of him.” Donald, next in line, takes charge of the family empire and while he’s conquering the Manhattan real estate business, Freddy’s life spirals downward.

Donald’s colourful personal life introduces new characters to the Trump story. Model Ivana Zelníčková shares Donald’s vision of a New York power couple. She eventually gets involved in the company, but Trump regrets this. “It became like I’m married to a business partner,” he says. After a very public divorce from Ivana, and a brief marriage to model Marla Maples, Donald marries his third wife Melania, another model, from Slovenia. Another immigrant success story, she’s now the First Lady of the United States.

Credits (Click to expand)

Presented By

MATT FREI

Music

EXTREME

Graphics

TOM PEARSON

Camera

ADAM VARDY

ANTON JEFFES

GREG DAVIS

Post Production

THE FARM

Online Editor

TOM LUCAS

Dubbing Mixer

SONNY LOTA

Offline Editors

DAVID GASSON

ROB KENDALL

Special Thanks to

ANNAMARIA FORCIER

ROLAND PAUL

PAUL ONISH

Stock Footage & Stills

AP ARCHIVE

CATHY BRETT

CBS

CLIPS AND FOOTAGE

GETTY IMAGES

NBC UNIVERSAL ARCHIVES

NEWSLINE

POND 5

PRODUCERS LIBRARY

SCOTTISH NATIONAL LIBRARY

STV

THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

YUKON ARCHIVES

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