Margaret Truman in the Netherlands in 1951, portrait by Greta Kempton
|Born||Mary Margaret Truman
February 17, 1924
Independence, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||January 29, 2008
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||George Washington University (B.A.)|
|Spouse||Clifton Daniel (m. 1956; d. 2000)|
|Children||Clifton, William, Harrison, Thomas|
Mary Margaret Truman Daniel (February 17, 1924 – January 29, 2008), also known as Margaret Truman or Margaret Daniel, was an American singer who later became the successful author of a series of murder mysteries and a number of works on U.S. First Ladies and First Families, including a biography of her father, President Harry S. Truman. The only child of Harry Truman and First Lady Bess Truman, she was "a witty, hard-working Midwestern girl with singing talent who was neither particularly pretty nor terribly plain."
Mary Margaret was born in Independence, Missouri on February 17, 1924 and was christened Mary Margaret Truman (for her aunt Mary Jane Truman and maternal grandmother Margaret Gates Wallace) but was called Margaret from early childhood. She attended school in Independence until her father's 1934 election to the United States Senate, after which her education was split between schools in Washington, D.C. and Independence.
In 1942, she matriculated at George Washington University, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1946. In June 1944, she christened the battleship USS Missouri at Brooklyn Navy Yard, and spoke again in 1986 at the ship's recommissioning.
After operatic vocal training, Truman's singing career began with a debut radio recital in March 1947. Reviewers were not always kind, but her father was fiercely protective: when in 1950 Washington Post music critic Paul Hume wrote that Truman was "extremely attractive on the stage... [but] cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time. And still cannot sing with anything approaching professional finish," President Truman wrote to Hume, "Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!" A 1951 Time Magazine cover featured Truman with a single musical note floating by her head. She performed on stage, radio, and television until the mid-1950s.
Truman's professional acting debut occurred April 26, 1951. She co-starred with James Stewart in the "Jackpot" episode of Screen Directors Playhouse on NBC radio. On March 17, 1952, Truman was guest soloist on The Railroad Hour in a presentation of Sari.
Truman also performed on the NBC Radio program The Big Show. There she met writer Goodman Ace, who gave her advice and pointers; Ace became a lifelong friend, advising Truman even after The Big Show. She became part of the team of NBC Radio's Weekday show that premiered in 1955, shortly after its Monitor program made its debut. Paired with Mike Wallace, she presented news and interviews aimed at a female listening audience.
Truman's full-length biography of her father, published shortly before his death, was critically acclaimed. She also wrote a personal biography of her mother and histories of the White House and its inhabitants (including first ladies and pets). A series of murder mysteries, the Capital Crimes series, set in and around Washington, D.C., were published under her name; they were ghostwritten, first by William Harrington (according to Harrington)
After Harrington's apparent suicide, a self-written obituary was found in which he referred to Margaret Truman and others as his "clients". Harrington's literary agent (who was also Truman's agent) denied any collaboration with Truman, while somewhat obliquely acknowledging Harrington had "worked on" books credited to another author. Harrington has been "squarely" credited by at least one verifiable source with ghostwriting all the books published by the child of another United States president, Elliott Roosevelt.</ref> and then, allegedly, by Donald Bain.
- Clifton Truman Daniel (born 1957), Director of Public Relations for Harry S Truman College.
- William Wallace Daniel (May 19, 1959 – September 4, 2000), a psychiatric social worker and researcher at Columbia University.
- Harrison Gates Daniel (born 1963)
- Thomas Washington Daniel (born 1966)
Later years and death
In later life, Truman lived in her Park Avenue home. She died on January 29, 2008, in Chicago (to which she was relocating to be nearer her son Clifton). She was said to have been suffering from "a simple infection" and had been breathing with the assistance of a respirator. Her ashes, and those of her husband, were interred in Independence, in her parents' burial plot on the grounds of the Truman Library.
|Souvenir, Margaret Truman's Own Story||1956||OCLC 629282|
|White House Pets||1969||OCLC 70279|
|Harry S. Truman||1973||ISBN 0-688-00005-3|
|Women of Courage||1976||ISBN 0-688-03038-6|
|Letters From Father: The Truman Family's Personal Correspondence||1981||ISBN 0-87795-313-9|
|Bess W. Truman||1986||ISBN 0-02-529470-9|
|Where The Buck Stops: The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman||1989||ISBN 0-446-51494-2|
|First Ladies||1995||ISBN 0-679-43439-9|
|The President's House: 1800 to the Present||2004||ISBN 0-345-47248-9|
|The Life of a White House Girl||2003|
- Times online, February 2, 2008
- "Margaret Truman Daniel bio". Truman Presidential Library. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- "Notable Pi Phis". pibetaphi.org. Archived from the original on July 13, 2010.
- "Truman's Letter to Paul Hume". Truman Library, Independence Mo. December 6, 1950. Retrieved June 2, 2011. Years later Margaret Truman recalled, "I thought it was funny. Sold tickets." (Staff writer, Truman's only child dies at 83, MSNBC, January 29, 2008, retrieved January 29, 2008.)
- Time, February 26, 1951.
- "Margaret Truman To Star Tonight On Radio Drama". New Mexico, Las Cruces. Las Cruces Sun-News. April 26, 1951. p. 1. Retrieved November 14, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Thomas, Bob (November 2, 1951). "Tallulah Bankhead Praises Margaret Truman's Talents". Reading Eagle. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- House, Allan (November 11, 1955). "Margaret Truman Gets a Kick Out of Radio-TV". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- "'Monitor' to debut on KDKA Sunday". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 10, 1955. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- "Radio:Woman's Home Companion". Time. November 28, 1955. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- "The Giselle MacKenzie Show". TV.com. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- "William G. Harrington, 68; Wrote Mysteries and Thrillers". New York Times. November 16, 2000. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
- Breen, Jon. The Ghost of Miss Truman, Weekly Standard, November 18, 2002; retrieved January 29, 2008.
- Bain, Donald (March 14, 2014). "A Novel of My Own". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
- Gelder, Lawrence Van (January 29, 2008). "Margaret Truman Daniel Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Truman celebrates heritage, history with grandson of US president". Kirksville Daily Express. September 15, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- Daniel, Clifton Truman (2009). "Adventures with Grandpa Truman". Retrieved April 20, 2013.
- "Hit by Cab, a Grandson of Harry Truman dies". The New York Times. September 6, 2000. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
- Goldstein, Steve (January 31, 2008). "First Daughter". Obit-mag. Archived from the original on January 1, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Meyer, Gene, "The ashes of Margaret Truman Daniel are put to rest in her roots", Kansas City Star, February 23, 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Margaret Truman.|
- Margaret Truman at Find a Grave
- Works by or about Margaret Truman in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|Awards and achievements|
Charles E. Wilson
|Cover of Time Magazine
February 26, 1951
Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway