The Trump Files: Donald Sued Other People Named Trump for Using Their Own Name

Mother Jones illustration; Shutterstock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Donald Trump isn’t the only Trump in the world, but that fact apparently came as a surprise to Donald in 1984. That’s when Trump got a letter from the publisher of Drug Store News welcoming him to the fraternity of chain drug store owners. But Trump hadn’t bought Duane Reade or CVS. The letter was intended for a business called the Trump Group, run by South African-born developers Eddie and Jules Trump, which had recently bid for the Pay ‘n Save chain.

Donald, to put it mildly, was not pleased. “The defendants are South Africans whose recent entrance in the New York area utilizing the name ‘the Trump Group’ can only be viewed as a poorly veiled attempt at trading on the goodwill, reputation and financial credibility of the plaintiff,” read a lawsuit he quickly filed against the Trump Group. He lost that case but did succeed in having the Trump Group’s trademark revoked in 1988.

That didn’t hurt the other Trumps too much. The Real Deal, a New York real estate publication, noted in 2009 that Eddie and Jules, who still use the Trump Group name, have “quietly built an empire on luxury real estate development” in Florida and other places. Eddie was even placed 35th on a 2013 list of the world’s 50 most “influential” rich people, a list on which Donald did not appear.

But there’s no bad blood between the Trumps, even if Jules was an early $25,000 donor to Marco Rubio’s super-PAC, according to Gawker. “I’m friends with them,” Donald told the New York Times. “They’re quality guys. They do quality developments.”

“We’re very boring,” Jules told the Real Deal. “We’re very different from Mr. Trump. He’s much more interesting. Go write about him.”

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.