Mary Anne MacLeod Trump

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Mary Anne MacLeod Trump
Mary Anne Trump.jpg
Mary MacLeod in 1935
Born Mary Anne MacLeod
(1912-05-10)May 10, 1912
Tong, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland[1]
Died August 7, 2000(2000-08-07) (aged 88)
New Hyde Park, New York, U.S.
Burial place Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery,
Queens, New York
Citizenship British
Occupation Domestic worker
Known for Mother of Donald Trump
Spouse(s) Fred Trump (m. 1936; d. 1999)
Parent(s) Malcolm Macleod (1891-1983)
Mary Smith (1893-1989)

Mary Anne Trump (née Mary Anne MacLeod, Scottish Gaelic: Màiri Anna NicLeòid; May 10, 1912 – August 7, 2000) was a British-born American domestic worker who was the mother of Donald Trump, the 45th and current President of the United States. Hailing from the Outer Hebrides, she emigrated from her native isle in 1930 and became a U.S. citizen in 1942. As the wife of real estate developer Fred Trump she raised five children and engaged in philanthropic activities in the New York area.[2]

Early life

Mary Anne MacLeod was born in Tong, on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, United Kingdom, in a pebbledash croft house[3] numbered "5 Tong" (owned by her father since 1895). She was the youngest of 10 children born to Malcolm MacLeod (1866–1954) and Mary MacLeod (née Smith; 1867–1963).[1] Her paternal grandparents were Alexander MacLeod and Ann MacLeod and maternal grandparents were Donald Smith and Mary MacAulay. They were from the locations of Vatisker and South Lochs[4] and the family's generations had suffered from the Highland Clearances.[5] Her family were members of the Church of Scotland.[citation needed]

She was raised in a Scottish Gaelic-speaking household with her second language being English, which she learned at Tong school where it was reported she was a star pupil. Mary attended the school up until the age of 13.[3] Her father was a crofter, fisherman and compulsory officer (truancy officer).[6][7][8] According to one profile, she was "brought up in an environment marked by isolation, privation and gloom."[3]

Emigration to United States

With several sisters having already established themselves there,[8] Mary Anne may have first visited the United States for a short stay in December 1929.[9] Then, according to the Scottish newspaper The National, Mary Anne MacLeod was issued immigration visa number 26698 at Glasgow on February 17, 1930. On May 2, 1930, MacLeod departed Glasgow on board the RMS Transylvania arriving in New York City on May 11, 1930‍—‌one day after her 18th birthday, declaring she intended to become a U.S. citizen and would be staying permanently in America.[6][7][8] In doing so she became what would later be termed an economic migrant, one of tens of thousands of young Scots who left for the United States or Canada during this period, the isle having suffered badly the consequences of World War I and the Clearances before that.[4][5] The Alien Passenger list of the Transylvania, May 2, 1930, lists her as being 5 foot eight inches tall, blue eyes, and occupation as a domestic.[10][3]

Arriving in America with just $50 (equivalent to $732 in 2017), MacLeod lived with her older sister Christina Matheson on Long Island and worked as a domestic servant for at least four years.[6][7][8] One of these jobs appears to have been as a nanny for a well-to-do family in a New York suburb, but the job went away as the effects of the Great Depression became more felt.[4] As one account has put it, she "started life in America as a dirt-poor servant escaping the even worse poverty of her native land."[7]

Though the 1940 U.S. Census form filed by Mary Anne and Fred Trump stated that she was a naturalized citizen, her naturalization did not actually take place until March 10, 1942.[6][7][8] However, there is no evidence to suggest that Mary Anne was in violation of any immigration laws at any time prior to her naturalization in 1942, as she frequently traveled internationally but was able to re-enter the U.S. afterwards.[9]

MacLeod returned to her home area in Scotland frequently during the course of her life and spoke Gaelic when she did.[4]

Marriage, family and activities

In the early 1930s, MacLeod is reported to have met Fred Trump at a dance where they fell in love. They married at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in January 1936, with George Arthur Buttrick officiating.[8] The wedding reception for the 25 guests was held at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan. On April 5, 1937, she gave birth to their first child Maryanne Trump Barry, followed by Frederick Christ Trump Jr. (1938–1981), Elizabeth Trump Grau (born 1942), Donald Trump (born 1946), and Robert Trump (born 1948).[6][7][8] The final birth led to an emergency hysterectomy which she barely survived.[3]

The family lived in Jamaica, Queens and later specifically in Jamaica Estates.[6][2] At first they lived in her husband's mother's house.[11] The couple was upwardly mobile and by 1940 she had taken on a Scottish domestic of her own.[12] She was generally a housewife but sometimes helped with her husband's real estate business, such as collecting coins from laundry machines in family-owned apartment buildings.[3] She drove a Rolls Royce that bore the vanity plates "MMT".[3]

She also acted as a volunteer in a hospital and was involved in schools activities and in charities.[3] Those causes included betterment of those with cerebral palsy and efforts to improve the lives of intellectually disabled adults.[6] The Trumps were active in the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Lighthouse for the Blind, among other charities.[2] She had a significant role at the Women's Auxiliary of Jamaica Hospital and likewise at the Jamaica Day Nursery.[2] She and her husband donated time, effort, to services and to several buildings of the medical nature around New York.[2][13] Moreover, a 228-bed nursing home pavilion at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where she spent years volunteering, is named solely for her.[13] She also belonged to several social clubs.[3][6]

As a parent she was more reserved than her husband.[3] Friends of the children noted fewer interactions with her than with him.[3] In appearance she was slight of build but was noted for an elaborate hairstyle, labeled in one account a "dynamic orange swirl".[6] This bore a commonality with her most famous child, who once wrote, "Looking back, I realize now that I got some of my sense of showmanship from my mother."[6]

In 1990 she asked, in reference to her most famous child's tabloid-level public doings, especially in relation to daughter-in-law Ivana Trump and paramour Marla Maples, "What kind of son have I created?"[14] It was clear from her statements that she favored Ivana in the dispute, making reference to her as "my daughter - I hate the expression in-law."[15] As her son gained in fame she achieved a certain public visibility, such as sitting for an interview with Irish television RTE in 1994.[16]

Later life and death

As she grew older she suffered from severe osteoporosis.[3] On October 31, 1991, 79-year-old Mary Anne Trump was mugged and beaten while shopping on Union Turnpike near her home. Thrown onto a sidewalk after her purse with $14 in it was taken,[15] she sustained broken ribs, facial bruises, several fractures, a brain hemorrhage, and permanent damage to her sight and hearing.[17][18] A delivery truck driver named Lawrence Herbert apprehended her 16-year-old assailant, and Donald Trump claims he rewarded Herbert with a check that kept him from losing his home to a foreclosure.[19][8]

Her husband Fred Trump died at age 93 in June 1999.[6][7][8] MacLeod died a year later on August 7, 2000 at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, at age 88.[2] Services were held at Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan[15] and she was buried alongside her husband and son (Fred Jr.) at Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens.[20] The death notice in her Scottish hometown newspaper, the Stornoway Gazette, read: "Peacefully in New York on August 7, Mary Ann [sic] Trump, aged 88 years. Daughter of the late Malcolm and Mary MacLeod, 5 Tong. Much missed."[8]


  1. ^ a b TIME Donald Trump: The Rise of a Rule Breaker(2016)
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mary MacLeod Trump Philanthropist, 88". The New York Times. August 9, 2000. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kruse, Michael (2017-11-04). "The Mystery of Mary Trump". Politico Magazine. Retrieved 2017-11-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d Brocklehurst, Steven (November 6, 2017). "Trump's mother: From a Scottish island to New York's elite". BBC News. Retrieved November 6, 2017 – via 
  5. ^ a b Nic Robertson; Antonia Mortensen. "Donald Trump's Scottish roots". CNN. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Pilon, Mary (June 24, 2016). "Donald Trump's Immigrant Mother". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 19, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Hannan, Martin (May 20, 2016). "The mysterious Mary Trump". The National. Retrieved November 19, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hannan, Martin (May 20, 2016). "An inconvenient truth? Donald Trump's Scottish mother was a low-earning migrant". The National. Retrieved November 19, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "Fact Check: Was Donald Trump's Mother an Illegal Immigrant?". January 30, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Alien Passenger list -SS Transylvania, May 2, 1930". 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Donald Trump has mother Mary's hairstyle: Photos". 
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^ Brenner, Marie. "After The Gold Rush". Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  15. ^ a b c
  16. ^
  17. ^ Brozan, Nadine (November 1, 1991). "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Update; Youth Is Sentenced In Robbery of Mrs. Trump". The New York Times. July 26, 1992. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  19. ^ Company, Johnson Publishing (1991). "Trump Makes the Holiday Brighter For New Yorker Who Rescued His Mother". Jet. 81: 8 – via Google Books. 
  20. ^ Mary Anne MacLeod Trump at Find a Grave

External links

  • Scottish Roots page
  • News article with old photographs of her
  • Pavilion website named after her
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