Maryanne Trump Barry, the Former President’s Sister, Found Dead in UES Apartment

Barry, an 86-year-old former judge, was pronounced dead on the scene. She spent her last years estranged from her brother after recordings of her criticism were released to the public.

| 14 Nov 2023 | 01:46

Maryanne Trump Barry, the older sister of Donald J. Trump and a former federal judge, has died at age 86. She was found by police in her Fifth Avenue apartment near 86th Street at 4:30am and declared dead at the scene. The cause of death has yet to be determined and an investigation is ongoing, but officials confirmed that there were no signs of foul play.

Barry was appointed to the District Court of New Jersey by Ronald Reagan in 1983, and then to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1999 by Bill Clinton. Known as a tough and plain-speaking judge, Barry presided over the conviction of Genovese mob boss Louis (Bobby) Manna, struck down New Jersey’s late-term “partial-birth” abortion ban for being too vague, and berated immigration judge Donald V. Ferlise for disrespecting an asylum applicant. Barry’s tenure on the federal bench ended in 2019 amid a New York Times investigation into the Trump family’s tax dodges following the death of their father, Fred Trump. According to the Times, her role as her father’s executor meant that she was closely involved in her siblings’ schemes to preserve their inheritance whole and intact.

The relationship between Barry and Trump remained close for most of their lives, and in difficult times the famously headstrong former president often sought his elder sister’s counsel. Barry’s late second husband, lawyer John J. Barry, counted Trump among his clients, helping the real-estate mogul secure his struggling New Jersey casinos during the 1990s. But in the last year of Trump’s presidency, the two siblings suffered a serious rift when Mary Trump, their niece, released secret recordings of Barry sharply criticizing her brother behind closed doors. “He has no principles, none,” she said at one point in recordings first reported by the Washington Post. “It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”

Barry is survived by her brother, her younger sister Elizabeth Trump Grau, and a son from her first marriage, David William Desmond.