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Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald Trump's Older Sister, Dies at 86

The retired federal appellate judge reportedly died in hospice care

Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald Trump's Older Sister, Dies at 86

Maryanne Trump Barry died at the age of 86 on the morning of Nov. 13.

Barry, the older sister of former President Donald Trump, reportedly had cancer and was in hospice care in New York, according to The Daily Voice which first reported the news.

Born on April 5, 1937, Barry was the eldest of Fred Trump and Mary Anne MacLeod Trump’s children. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s from Columbia University. When her only child, David Desmond, entered the sixth grade, she enrolled in law school at Hofstra University.

"I knew better even as a child than to even attempt to compete with Donald," she told New York magazine of her decision not to work for her family’s real estate business. "I wouldn't have been able to win. He was building models when he was very young. Huge buildings."

President Bill Clinton appointed Barry to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia in 1999. She gave up her court staff and took inactive status in 2017 before retiring in February 2019. Her retirement automatically ended an ethics investigation that had been brought against her a week and a half earlier. 

She had been previously appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by President Ronald Reagan. 

President Trump has spoken positively of his sister. While speaking with Mark Halperin after the sudden death of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Trump said his sister would make a “phenomenal” justice but that it had to be ruled out. 

“But I do have a sister who is very smart and who is a very good person,” Trump went on to say during the interview.

Barry credited her younger brother with helping her secure Reagan's nomination in 1983. She told The New York Times that Trump asked his lawyer, Roy Cohn, to lobby the White House on her behalf.

"There’s no question Donald helped me get on the bench," Barry reportedly said. "I was good, but not that good."

Mary Trump, the Republican frontrunner’s niece who wrote a tell-all book about her family, secretly recorded her Aunt Maryanne saying, “Donald is cruel” in 2018. Trump dismissed the comment when asked about the remark by reporters.

"Every day it’s something else, who cares?" he said in a statement, per Fox News.

Barry is the third of the former president’s four siblings to pass away.

Fred Trump Jr. died at the age of 43 in 1981. His cause of death is complications related to alcoholism. President Trump has cited his brother’s struggles with alcohol as his motivation not to drink.

Robert Trump died on Aug. 15, 2020 at the age of 72. He had served as the executive vice president of the Trump Organization.

Before his death, he had condemned his niece’s book and legally fought to block its publication.

Her attempt to sensationalize and mischaracterize our family relationship after all of these years for her own financial gain is both a travesty and injustice to the memory of my late brother, Fred, and our beloved parents,” said Robert Trump in a statement, per The Sun. “I and the rest of my entire family are so proud of my wonderful brother, the president, and feel that Mary’s actions are truly a disgrace."

President Trump’s surviving sibling, Elizabeth Trump Grau, is retired and living in Florida.

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