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Maryanne Trump Barry, the older sister of former president Donald Trump, has died aged 86.
Barry, a former prosecutor and retired federal judge, was frequently praised by her brother Donald for her intelligence and ambition. During his presidency, she remained publicly supportive.
But in a series of conversations secretly recorded by her niece, Mary Trump, and released last year, Barry revealed deep disdain for her brother. Donald Trump, she said, was “cruel” and had “no principles”. She appeared to have been appalled by his immigration policies that separated family members at the US border.
Donald Trump did not immediately comment on the news.
Barry’s passing adds to a series of intimate 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 born to Fred Trump, an upwardly mobile Queens real estate developer, and his wife, Mary. She attended Mount Holyoke College and then married and raised a family. But she returned to school, earning her law degree in 1974.
“Maryanne is really something,” Donald wrote admiringly in his 1987 autobiography, Trump: The Art of the Deal.
After a stint in private practice Barry worked as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. She was elevated to the bench in 1983 by then-president Ronald Reagan. The recordings made by her niece revealed this to have been a sore spot with Donald. For years he took credit for her promotion.
She was nominated to a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by then-president Bill Clinton, a Democrat, in 1999. She retired from the federal appeals court in 2019, which ended an investigation into whether the aggressive tax arrangements that protected Fred Trump’s fortune — and so benefited her and her siblings — amounted to judicial misconduct.
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