FRED CHRIST TRUMP, Woodhaven
In a supermarket parking lot, surrounded by shopping carts, stands the Woodhaven Historical Society’s monument to a native son, Frederick Christ (pronounced “krist”with i as in “bit”) Trump (1905-1999). Fred Trump’s middle name was his mother’s maiden name.
Fred Trump began building middle-class houses in Queens during the 1920s and built Trump Market here at Jamaica Avenue and 78th Avenue in the 1930s; he sold it to King Kullen shortly after he opened it, and there is still a supermarket on the site. Trump Village, the project for which he is best known in Coney Island, was constructed in 1963. He married Mary McLeod in 1936 and had four children, Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald, Robert and Fred Jr., who passed away in 1981. One of his many philanthropic efforts helped fund a pavilion in Jamaica Hospital that bears Fred and Mary Trump’s names.
The “E. Trump” referenced on the sign comes from Fred Trump’s very first entrepreneurial effort, a construction business, founded when he was still in his teens. He partnered with his mother, Elizabeth, who signed checks since he was still too young to do so.
In addition to Trump Village, Fred Trump also built the Shore Haven (Bensonhurst) and Beach Haven (Coney Island) projects. He employed his personal secretary, Amy Luerssen, for 59 years, and at his death lived with Mary Trump in a Jamaica Estates house he built in 1951.