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, Lewis, Scotland, UK[1]
Died August 7, 2000(2000-08-07) (aged 88)
New Hyde Park, New York, U.S.
Burial place Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery, New York City
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Occupation Domestic worker
Known for Mother of Donald Trump
Fred Trump
(m. 1936; d. 1999)
  • Malcolm Macleod
  • Mary Smith

Mary Anne Trump (née MacLeod, Scottish Gaelic: Màiri Anna NicLeòid; May 10, 1912 – August 7, 2000) was the mother of Donald Trump, the 45th and current President of the United States, and the wife of real estate developer Fred Trump. Born in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, she immigrated to the United States in 1930 and became a naturalized citizen in 1942.[2] She raised five children with her husband and engaged in philanthropic activities in the New York area.[3]

Early life

Mary Anne MacLeod was born in a pebbledash croft house owned by her father since 1895 in Tong on the Isle of Lewis.[4] Local historians and genealogists have described the island at the time as "indescribably filthy" and characterized by "human wretchedness". The outbreak of World War I weakened its economy and male population.[4]

Raised in a Scottish Gaelic-speaking household, Mary was the youngest of ten children born to Malcolm MacLeod (1866–1954) and Mary MacLeod (née Smith; 1867–1963).[5] Her father was a crofter, fisherman and compulsory officer at Mary's school.[4][2][6][7] English was her second language, which she learned at the school she attended until eighth grade.[4]

Her paternal grandparents were Alexander MacLeod and Ann MacLeod; her maternal grandparents were Donald Smith and Mary MacAulay. They were from the locations of Vatisker and South Lochs,[8] and some of the family's generations had suffered in the Highland Clearances.[9]

Immigration to the United States

With several sisters having already established themselves there,[7] Mary Anne MacLeod may have first visited the United States for a short stay in December 1929. Then, according to the Scottish newspaper The National, 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.[2][6][7] 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, Scotland, having suffered badly the consequences of World War I and the Clearances before that.[8][9] The Alien Passenger list of the Transylvania, May 2, 1930, lists her as being 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall, with blue eyes, and occupation as a domestic.[10][4]

Arriving in the U.S. with $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.[2][6][7] One of these jobs appears to have been as a nanny for a well-to-do family in a New York suburb, but the position was eliminated due to economic difficulties caused by the Great Depression.[8] 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."[6]

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.[2][6][7] However, there is no evidence to suggest that she 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.[11]

MacLeod returned to her home area in Scotland often during the course of her life and spoke Gaelic when she did.[8]

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.[7] The wedding reception for 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).[2][6][7] The final birth led to an emergency hysterectomy, which she barely survived.[4]

The family lived in Jamaica, Queens and later specifically in Jamaica Estates.[3][2] At first they lived in her husband's mother's house.[12] The couple was upwardly mobile and by 1940 she had taken on a Scottish domestic of her own.[13] 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. She drove a Rolls Royce that bore the vanity plates "MMT".[4]

She also acted as a volunteer in a hospital and was involved in school activities and charities.[4] Those causes included betterment of those with cerebral palsy and efforts to improve the lives of intellectually disabled adults.[2] The Trumps were active in the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Lighthouse for the Blind, among other charities.[3] She had a significant role at the Women's Auxiliary of Jamaica Hospital and likewise at the Jamaica Day Nursery.[3] She and her husband donated time, effort, services, and several buildings of the medical nature around New York.[3][14] Moreover, a 228-bed nursing home pavilion at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where she spent years volunteering, is named solely for her.[14] She also belonged to several social clubs.[4][2]

As a parent she was more reserved than her husband.[4] Friends of the children noted fewer interactions with her than with him.[4] In appearance she was slight of build but was noted for an elaborate hairstyle, labeled in one account a "dynamic orange swirl".[2] This bore a commonality with her son Donald, who once wrote, "Looking back, I realize now that I got some of my sense of showmanship from my mother."[2]

Later life and death

As she grew older she suffered from severe osteoporosis.[4] On October 31, 1991, she was mugged while shopping on Union Turnpike near her home. She was 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.[16][17] A delivery truck driver named Lawrence Herbert apprehended her 16-year-old assailant, for which he was later rewarded by Donald Trump with a check that kept him from losing his home to a foreclosure.[18][7]

Her husband Fred Trump died at age 93 in June 1999.[2][6][7] MacLeod died a year later on August 7, 2000 at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, at age 88.[3] 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.[19] 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."[7]


  1. ^ Reid, Tony; Reid, Stuart; et al. (January 30, 2017). "People: Donald Trump". Edinburgh, SCT. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Pilon, Mary (June 24, 2016). "Donald Trump's Immigrant Mother". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Mary MacLeod Trump Philanthropist, 88". The New York Times. August 9, 2000. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kruse, Michael (November 4, 2017). "The Mystery of Mary Trump". Politico Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  5. ^ Dougherty, Steve (2016). "Family Saga". In TIME editors. Donald Trump: The Rise of a Rule Breaker. Time Inc. Books. ISBN 978-1-68330-237-7.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Hannan, Martin (May 20, 2016). "The mysterious Mary Trump". The National. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ a b Nic Robertson; Antonia Mortensen. "Donald Trump's Scottish roots". CNN. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  10. ^ "Alien Passenger list -SS Transylvania, May 2, 1930" – via FamilySearch. (Subscription required (help)).
  11. ^ "Fact Check: Was Donald Trump's Mother an Illegal Immigrant?". January 30, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  12. ^ Marzlock, Ron (March 3, 2016). "Trump's Queens home". Queens Chronicle.
  13. ^ "Pictured: Donald Trump inherited his mother Mary's hairstyle, plus much more". February 24, 2017.
  14. ^ a b Pilon, Mary (June 14, 2017). "Life at Trump Pavilion". The New Republic.
  15. ^ a b Moritz, Owen (August 9, 2000). "Trump family matriarch dead at 88". New York Daily News.
  16. ^ Brozan, Nadine (November 1, 1991). "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  17. ^ "Update; Youth Is Sentenced In Robbery of Mrs. Trump". The New York Times. July 26, 1992. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  18. ^ "Trump Makes the Holiday Brighter For New Yorker Who Rescued His Mother". Jet. Vol. 81 no. 11. 1991. p. 8 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ Scovell, Nell (October 11, 2016). "A Visit to the Trump Family Gravesite Took a Very Trumpian Turn". Esquire.

External links

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