Donald Trump graduates, and Fred creates his fictional career

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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In May, Donald Trump graduates from the University of Pennsylvania and begins work at Trump Management, where he is paid more by Fred Trump than any of his siblings have ever received from their father. Fred immediately fills Donald’s career history and influences his public perception by naming him V.P. of companies owned by Trump Management, making him the manager of a building he never has to manage, paying him consulting fees without consultation, and “hiring” him as a banker even though he isn’t one.

By 1971, Fred Trump promotes 24-year-old Donald to President of Trump Management, even though nothing about his responsibilities within the company change.

At the time, these moves are more about showing Fred’s children who his chosen heir is and giving the middle finger to Fred Jr. for never living up to his father’s expectation. But Fred Trump soon realizes that Donald has the ability to do what he can’t do himself: be the face of the brand and expand Trump Management throughout more of New York.

His comfort with portraying that image, along with his father’s favor and the material security his father’s wealth afforded him, gave him the unearned confidence to pull off what even at the beginning was a charade: selling himself not just as a rich playboy but as a brilliant, self-made businessman. In those early days, that expensive endeavor was being enthusiastically, if clandestinely, funded by my grandfather.

Mary L. Trump, Ph.D.

For the next couple decades, Fred Trump funds Donald’s extravagant lifestyle and his public image as a master at business, while Fred does all of the actual business himself.

Donald was to my grandfather what the border wall has been for Donald: a vanity project funded at the expense of more worthy pursuits.

Mary L. Trump, Ph.D.


Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump, Ph.D., pages 83-84, 88-89

Photograph: Instagram / realdonaldtrump

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