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Maryanne Trump Barry, the older sister of former President Donald Trump, has died at the age of 86.
Barry, a former prosecutor and retired federal judge, was frequently praised by her brother Donald for her intelligence and ambition. She continued to publicly support him throughout his presidency.
But in a series of conversations secretly recorded by her niece Mary Trump and released last year, Barry revealed deep contempt for her brother. Donald Trump, she said, is “cruel” and has “no principles.” She appeared to have been appalled by his immigration policies, which separated family members at the U.S. border.
Donald Trump did not immediately comment on the news.
Barry’s death adds to a series of personal losses for Trump in recent years. His younger brother Robert died in 2020. His first wife Ivana died last year. Another brother, Fred, died in 1981. Of Trump’s siblings, only his sister Elizabeth Trump Grau remains.
Born in 1937, Barry was the eldest of the five children of Fred Trump, an aspiring real estate developer from Queens, and his wife Mary. She attended Mount Holyoke College, then married and started a family. However, she returned to school and graduated with a law degree in 1974.
“Maryanne is really something,” Donald wrote admiringly in his 1987 autobiography. Trump: The Art of the Deal.
After a period in private practice, Barry worked as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. She was appointed to the bench in 1983 by then-President Ronald Reagan. Her niece’s recordings revealed that this was a sore point with Donald. For years he considered her promotion a merit.
She was nominated in 1999 by then-President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She withdrew from the federal appeals court in 2019, concluding an investigation into whether the aggressive tax regimes that protected Fred Trump’s assets – and thus benefited her and her siblings – amounted to judicial misconduct.