Mary Anne MacLeod Trump

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Mary Anne MacLeod Trump
Màiri Anna Nic Leòid Trump
MacLeod in 1935
Mary Anne MacLeod

(1912-05-10)May 10, 1912
DiedAugust 7, 2000(2000-08-07) (aged 88)
Burial placeLutheran All Faiths Cemetery, New York City
(m. 1936; died 1999)

Mary Anne Trump (née MacLeod; Scottish Gaelic: Màiri Anna Nic Leòid [ˈmaːɾʲɪ ˈan̪ˠa ɲiçkʲ ˈʎɔːtʲ]; May 10, 1912 – August 7, 2000) was the wife of real-estate developer Fred Trump and the mother of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States.

Born in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, Mary Trump emigrated to the U.S. in 1930 and became a naturalized citizen in March 1942.[1] She raised five children with her husband and lived in the New York area.[2]

Early life[edit]

Mary Anne MacLeod was born in a pebbledashed croft house owned by her father since 1895 in the village of Tong, Lewis, Scotland.[3][4] Raised in a Scottish Gaelic-speaking household, Mary was the youngest of ten children born to Malcolm MacLeod (1866–1954) and Mary Ann Smith (née Smith; 1867–1963).[5] Her father was a crofter, fisherman and compulsory officer at Mary's school.[4][1][6][7] English was her second language, which she learned at the school she attended until secondary school.[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, respectively.[8] Donald died at sea aged 34 when his sailing ship sank, a common fate for men in the region which was dependent on fishing.[9] Some of the family's earlier generations had been forced off their land as part of the Highland Clearances.[10] According to one genealogical account, displaced families in Mary's village lived in "human wretchedness" while nearby farmable land was used for sheep.[11] Local historians have said properties at the time were "indescribably filthy", and that families in the area lived austere lives as fishers, farmers and peat diggers.[9] The outbreak of World War I weakened the area's economy and reduced the male population further.[4]

Immigration to the United States[edit]

With several siblings having already established themselves there,[7] MacLeod may have first visited the United States for a short stay in December 1929. She was issued immigration visa number 26698 at Glasgow on February 17, 1930.[6] On May 2, MacLeod left Glasgow on board the RMS Transylvania arriving in New York City on May 11 (one day after her 18th birthday). She declared she intended to become a U.S. citizen and would be staying permanently in America.[1][6][7] She was one of tens of thousands of young Scots who left for the U.S. or Canada during this period, Scotland having suffered badly the consequences of the Clearances and World War I.[8][10] The alien passenger list of the Transylvania lists her occupation as a domestic worker.[4][12]

Husband Fred Trump, c. 1950

Arriving in the U.S. with $50 (equivalent to $887 in 2022), MacLeod lived with her older sister Christina Matheson on Long Island and worked as a domestic servant for at least four years.[1][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 a 2016 account in Scottish newspaper The National put it, she "started life in America as a dirt-poor servant escaping the even worse poverty of her native land."[6] Having obtained a U.S. Re-entry Permit—only granted to immigrants intending to stay and gain citizenship[6][7]—she returned to Scotland on the SS Cameronia on September 12, 1934.[13] She was recorded as living in New York by April 1935 in the 1940 U.S. Census.[13]

Though the 1940 census form filed by Mary Anne and her husband, Fred Trump, stated that she was a naturalized citizen, she did not actually become one until March 10, 1942.[1][6][7] However, there is no evidence that she violated any immigration laws prior to her naturalization, as she frequently traveled internationally and was afterwards able to re-enter the U.S.[14] 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[edit]

In the mid-1930s, while Mary Anne was living with her sister in Queens, she met Fred Trump—already a property developer and builder—at a party;[1][15] on a subsequent visit to Scotland, she told her family that she had met her future husband. They married at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church on January 11, 1936,[16] with George Arthur Buttrick officiating. The wedding reception for 25 guests was held at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.[7] They honeymooned in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[16] On April 5, 1937, she gave birth to their first child, Maryanne (1937–2023), followed by Fred C. Trump Jr. (1938–1981), Elizabeth (born 1942), Donald (born 1946), and Robert (1948–2020).[1][6][7][17] The final birth led to an emergency hysterectomy, which she barely survived.[4]

A black-and-white photograph of son Donald Trump as a teenager, smiling and wearing a dark pseudo-military uniform with various badges and a light-colored stripe crossing his right shoulder
Senior yearbook photo of son Donald Trump (1964)
photo of daughter Maryanne Trump Barry testifying at the confirmation of Samuel Alito, 2006.
Daughter Maryanne Trump Barry testifying at the confirmation of Samuel Alito (2006)

The family lived in Jamaica, Queens, and later specifically in Jamaica Estates.[1][2] At first, the couple lived in the house of MacLeod's mother-in-law;[18] however, by 1940, the couple, having moved out, had begun an upwardly mobile existence, having taken on a Scottish domestic servant for their own household.[19] MacLeod generally worked as a housewife within the family, but sometimes helped with her husband's real estate business, such as collecting coins from laundry machines in family-owned apartment buildings.

MacLeod raised her children in the Presbyterian faith of her upbringing; on January 20, 2017, incoming U.S. President Donald Trump took his inaugural oath of office using a copy of the Revised Standard Version Bible given to him by his mother in 1955 when he graduated from a Presbyterian Sunday school.[20] MacLeod drove a Rolls-Royce that bore the vanity plates "MMT", the initials of her name, Mary MacLeod Trump.[4]

MacLeod also acted as a volunteer in a hospital and was involved in school activities and charities,[4] including the betterment of those with cerebral palsy and efforts to improve the lives of intellectually disabled adults.[1] The Trumps were active in the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Lighthouse for the Blind, among other charities.[2] MacLeod 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, services, and several medical buildings around New York;[2][21] a 228-bed nursing home pavilion at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where she spent years volunteering, is named after her.[21] MacLeod also belonged to several social clubs.[1][4]

As a parent, MacLeod was more reserved than her husband. Friends of the children observed fewer interactions with her than with him.[4] In appearance, MacLeod was slight of build but was known for an elaborate hairstyle, labeled in one account a "dynamic orange swirl", similar to the hairstyle her son Donald would later become known for.[1]

In 1981, Mary Anne MacLeod's oldest son, Fred C Trump Jr., died from complications due to alcoholism.[22]

Later life and death[edit]

As she grew older, Trump suffered from severe osteoporosis.[4] On October 31, 1991, at 79, she was mugged while shopping on Union Turnpike near her home. She resisted the mugger's attempt to steal her purse, which contained $14, and was then knocked to the ground and beaten.[23] She sustained broken ribs, facial bruises, several fractures, a brain hemorrhage, and permanent damage to her sight and hearing.[24][25] A bread-truck driver named Lawrence Herbert apprehended Paul LoCasto, her 16-year-old assailant, for which Herbert was later rewarded by Donald Trump with a check that kept him from losing his home to foreclosure.[7][26] LoCasto later pleaded guilty to robbery and assault, and was sentenced to three to nine years in prison.[27]

Mary Anne's husband, Fred Trump, died at age 93 on June 25, 1999, after falling ill with pneumonia.[28] She died one 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[23] and she was buried alongside her husband and son (Fred Jr.) at Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens.[29] The death notice in her Scottish hometown newspaper, the Stornoway Gazette, read: "Peacefully in New York on 7th August, Mary Ann [sic] Trump, aged 88 years. Daughter of the late Malcolm and Mary MacLeod, 5 Tong. Much missed."[7]


  1. ^ 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. on March 10, 1942, the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn made Mary Trump a naturalized citizen
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mary MacLeod Trump Philanthropist, 88". The New York Times. August 9, 2000. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  3. ^ Reid, Tony; Reid, Stuart; et al. (January 30, 2017). "People: Donald Trump". Edinburgh, SCT. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kruse, Michael (November 4, 2017). "The Mystery of Mary Trump". Politico Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  5. ^ Dougherty, Steve (2016). "Family Saga". 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 h 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 Kranish, Michael; Fisher, Marc (January 10, 2017). Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-5011-5652-6 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ a b Nic Robertson; Antonia Mortensen (November 2, 2016). "Donald Trump's Scottish roots". CNN. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  11. ^ D'Antonio, Michael (September 22, 2015). Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success. Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4668-4042-3 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "Alien Passenger list -SS Transylvania, May 2, 1930" – via FamilySearch.
  13. ^ a b "Mary Anne Macleod Trump Biography; Mother of Donald Trump". BiographyTree. September 30, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  14. ^ "Fact Check: Was Donald Trump's Mother an Illegal Immigrant?". January 30, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  15. ^ Kranish, Michael; Fisher, Marc (2016). Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-5011-5578-9.
  16. ^ a b Blair, Gwenda (2015) [2000]. The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate. New York City: Simon & Schuster. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-1-5011-3936-9.
  17. ^ Phillips, Morgan (August 14, 2020). "Robert Trump, brother of President Trump, dead at 71". Fox News. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  18. ^ Marzlock, Ron (March 3, 2016). "Trump's Queens home". Queens Chronicle.
  19. ^ "Pictured: Donald Trump inherited his mother Mary's hairstyle, plus much more". February 24, 2017.
  20. ^ Meyer, Holly (January 17, 2017). "What Bible did Donald Trump use on Inauguration Day?". The Tennesean.
  21. ^ a b Pilon, Mary (June 14, 2017). "Life at Trump Pavilion". The New Republic.
  22. ^ Collman, Ashley (April 11, 2019). "Meet Donald Trump's siblings, the oldest of whom just retired as a federal judge". Business Insider. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Moritz, Owen (August 9, 2000). "Trump family matriarch dead at 88". New York Daily News.
  24. ^ Brozan, Nadine (November 1, 1991). "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  25. ^ "Update; Youth Is Sentenced In Robbery of Mrs. Trump". The New York Times. July 26, 1992. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  26. ^ "Trump Makes the Holiday Brighter For New Yorker Who Rescued His Mother". Jet. Vol. 81, no. 11. Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company. 1991. p. 8 – via Google Books.
  27. ^ "Update; Youth Is Sentenced In Robbery of Mrs. Trump". The New York Times. July 26, 1992.
  28. ^ Rozhon, Tracie (June 26, 1999). "Fred C. Trump, Postwar Master Builder of Housing for Middle Class, Dies at 93". The New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  29. ^ Scovell, Nell (October 11, 2016). "A Visit to the Trump Family Gravesite Took a Very Trumpian Turn". Esquire.

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