Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald Trump’s sister and federal judge, dies

  • November 13, 2023

Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald Trump’s older sister and former New Jersey judge who was secretly recorded by a family member criticizing her brother’s presidency, calling it “brutal” and “unscrupulous,” was found dead on November 13 at her home. at home on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He was 86 years old.

His death was confirmed by a law enforcement official and a person close to the Trump family who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential matters. No other information was immediately provided.

Mrs. Barry and his realtor brother were not very close, and he made only rare appearances in his public life. His brother’s presidency, in which he made racist statements and vilified immigrants, strained their relationship. He became a sullen – albeit private – critic of his brother.

In 2018 and 2019, Mrs. Barry’s niece, Mary L. Trump, secretly recorded 15 hours of face-to-face conversations with her, releasing audio and transcript excerpts to the Washington Post in 2020.

“It’s the stupidity of it all,” Mrs. Barry told his nephew. “This is intelligence and brutality. Donald is cruel.”

“All he wants to do is persuade his base,” said Mrs. Barry continued with his nephew. “He has no goals. Nothing. Nothing. And his foundation, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. We don’t do this.”

Mrs. Barry, the eldest of Fred and Mary Trump’s five children, has never been a contender to take over the family’s real estate empire. Academic excellence went her way, she went into a job that her family respected – and into a distant relationship that gave her a buffer from Donald’s and Fred’s run-ins with the law.

Over the years, Mrs. Barry, who was known for being outspoken as a judge, sometimes spoke bluntly about his brother’s ego, telling Trump biographer Gwenda Blair that Donald “likes to hear how great he is—not just great, but the best.” the greatest of all.”

But when he got into trouble, he would sometimes protect his little brother.

In 2008, when Donald was trying to save a Scottish golf course and his resort project from opposition from neighbors appalled by his coastal development plan, he visited his immigrant mother’s hometown for the first time. he was still a toddler.

As part of the family’s PR blitz to save their project, Mrs. Barry went to a news conference near a Scottish castle, where he defended his brother.

“My mother would be very proud to see Donald here today,” she said. “He can be proud to see what he has done, all the good things he has done and the television star that he is. I am here not because of these things, but because you are my brother. I love him. … This is a man I respect. He’s a nice guy and he’s funny too.”

When Donald campaigned for president in 2016, Mrs. Barry became prominent in politics, but he did so only because his brother was not the extremist that his opponents perceived him to be. He was, instead, “just a good boy from Queens,” she said.

Maryanne Trump was born in Queens on April 5, 1937, and was the eldest of five children growing up in a home run by Fred C. Trump, a real estate developer whose career flourished after World War II.

Maryanne grew up in a respectable two-story family Tudor in Jamaica Estates, Queens, but when she was about 10 years old, they moved to a very large house built by Fred Trump – 23 rooms, with nine bedrooms. It was a strict environment: Maryanne was not allowed to use lipstick, curse or snack during mealtime.

He joined the debate club and student council at Kew-Forest, a private school in Queens where the former president and his three siblings also attended. By all accounts, he worked diligently in his academic career but was never seen by his father as a good fit for his company. Freddy, the oldest son, was his father’s choice, but Fred concluded that Freddy lacked stamina and turned to Donald instead.

Maryanne received an undergraduate degree in 1958 from Mount Holyoke College, a women’s college in Massachusetts, and waited tables for two years to earn extra money. He went on to complete a master’s degree in public law and government from Columbia University in 1962.

She called herself a cultural conservative and turned down acceptance to law school to raise her son, David, later telling the Newark Star-Ledger, “I wanted to be a full-time mom. And, in fact, even when I was in law school, there wasn’t a day when I wasn’t home at 3 o’clock when David got home from school.”

He gradually resumed his legal education and graduated from Hofstra University Law School in 1974 and took a job as an assistant US attorney in New Jersey. He rose to the No. 2 post in that office before being confirmed in 1983 to a seat on the US District Court for the District of New Jersey.

In later years, he was described as meticulous and occasionally funny on the bench who prided himself on his independence. He did not accept what he considered an open plea agreement between the US attorney’s office and two lawyers from Essex County, NJ, detectives accused of helping a famous drug dealer and insisted that the case go to trial, where both law enforcement officers received long prison terms. goals.

The case he told the Star-Ledger was most important to him involved an 8-year-old girl who was so sick that her insurance company refused to pay for a potentially life-saving operation. Mrs. Barry ordered the company to pay for the procedure, which (according to the girl’s lawyer) enabled the child to live “happily ever after.”

Outside the court, Mrs. Barry has been outspoken about his often neutral and anti-feminist views when it comes to the law, particularly in what he sees as an increase in frivolous sexual assault cases.

“Don’t tell me a woman can be a pilot, but she can’t stand a dirty joke,” she reportedly said at one meeting that the Star-Ledger described as “an FBI-sponsored program for women empowerment.” The focus on what he considered to be a trivial matter “demeans the true dignity of sexual abuse”.

“You have office pigs over there,” he continued. “And the way to deal with them is with a good touch, with humor – unlike a hydrogen bomb. … Because you don’t need to make an enemy your whole life if you want to get ahead. It’s better to make a friend.”

In 1999, the US Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. US Senator Robert G. Torricelli (DN.J.) was an important patron and once praised her for her “clever understanding of the law” and “ability to exercise good judgment.”

“I’m not sure that my public image is who I really am,” he said at the time. “I can be tough, but there’s a soft spot too.”

Her first marriage, with David Desmond, with whom she had a son, ended in divorce. She was then married to John J. Barry, a lawyer, from 1982 until his death in 2000.