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Maryanne Trump Barry (born April 5, 1937[1]) is an American attorney and a former United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, appointed by President Bill Clinton. She is the older sister of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States.

Maryanne Trump Barry
Maryanne Trump Barry in 1992.png
Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
In office
June 30, 2011 – February 11, 2019
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
In office
September 22, 1999 – June 30, 2011
Appointed byBill Clinton
Preceded byH. Lee Sarokin
Succeeded byPatty Shwartz
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
In office
October 7, 1983 – October 25, 1999
Appointed byRonald Reagan
Preceded byHenry Curtis Meanor
Succeeded byJoel A. Pisano
Personal details
Maryanne Trump

(1937-04-05) April 5, 1937 (age 82)[1]
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
David Desmond
(m. 1960; div. 1980)

John Barry
(m. 1982; died 2000)
Children1 son
MotherMary Anne MacLeod
FatherFred Trump
RelativesTrump family
EducationMount Holyoke College (B.A.)
Columbia University (M.A.)
Hofstra University School of Law (J.D.)


Early life and educationEdit

Barry was born Maryanne Trump in Queens in New York City, the eldest child of real-estate developer Fred Trump and Mary Anne MacLeod Trump.[2] She is an elder sister of Donald Trump.[3][4] She attended Kew-Forest School, as did Donald.[5]:243 She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1958,[6][7][5]:244 and a Master of Arts in public law and government from Columbia University in 1962.[6][8] She later returned to graduate school to study law, earning her Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law in 1974.[6]


Barry was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1974 to 1983. She was in the civil division from 1974 to 1975 and in the appeals division from 1976 to 1982, serving as deputy chief of that division from 1976 to 1977 and chief of the division from 1977 to 1982. She served as Executive Assistant United States Attorney from 1981 to 1982. She was First Assistant United States Attorney from 1981 to 1983.[6]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Barry was nominated by President Ronald Reagan[2] on September 14, 1983, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey vacated by Henry Curtis Meanor. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 6, 1983, and received her commission the next day. In 1985, she recused herself in a drug-trafficking case due to her brother Donald's relationship with the alleged trafficker.[9] Her service terminated on October 25, 1999, due to elevation to the Third Circuit.[6]

A Republican,[10] Barry was nominated to a judgeship on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by Democratic President Bill Clinton[2] on June 17, 1999. Barry was nominated to replace H. Lee Sarokin,[11] who had retired in 1996. Clinton had nominated Robert Raymar to the seat in 1998, but that nomination had expired at the end of the year without being given a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.[citation needed] Barry was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on September 13, 1999[12] and received her commission on September 22, 1999.[11] "I am deeply honored and very grateful for the nomination," Barry told the New Jersey Law Journal in 1999. "I am surprised I was approached on it. I assume that my record is good enough as a district court judge to be reached out to, and I'm glad that politics weren't a priority here."[13]

Barry's reputation on the bench was that of a tough judge with strong command of her courtroom.[2] In 1989, while a district court judge in Newark, New Jersey, she disapproved a plea bargaining deal that would have freed two county detectives accused of protecting a drug dealer, and forced the case to trial. The detectives were convicted and received jail terms. She also presided over the conviction of Louis Manna, the Genovese crime family mobster accused of plotting to assassinate rival John Gotti.[2]

In January 2006, Barry testified in support of the appointment of fellow Third Circuit Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.[14]

On June 30, 2011, Barry assumed senior status;[6] she took inactive senior status the first week of February 2017, about two weeks after her brother's inauguration as President.[15][16]

Barry retired from active judicial service on February 11, 2019. Barry's retirement brought an end to an investigation of whether she had engaged in fraudulent tax schemes with her siblings that violated judicial conduct rules. The investigation was closed without reaching a conclusion as to the merits of the allegations.[17][18]


In 2004, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor presented Barry with an award, named for O'Connor, that the Seton Hall University School of Law gives to women who excel in law and public service. At the presentation ceremony, Barry said, "I say to the women out there, remember how difficult it was for women like Justice O'Connor starting out," adding, "Even though she graduated with top grades, she had to take a job as a legal secretary. Remember how far we have come."[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Barry's first husband was David Desmond; they divorced in 1980.[19] In 1982, she married John Joseph Barry, a New Jersey lawyer.[2][8] He died on April 9, 2000.[20] She has one son from her first marriage, David William Desmond, who is a New York psychologist.[19][21]

In 2016, she gave $4 million to Fairfield University, a Catholic institution, to fund scholarships and endow the university's Center for Ignatian Spirituality.[22][23]

Allegations of tax evasionEdit

In October 2018, The New York Times published an investigative report asserting that Barry, along with her father and siblings, had engaged in fraudulent and illegal activity for the purpose of limiting estate tax and gift tax liability stemming from Fred Trump's real estate enterprises.[24] Investigative journalist Susanne Craig discovered a critical piece of information in the investigation: A filing Barry had made to the Senate as part of her federal judiciary confirmation in which she had reported a $1 million contribution from All County Building Supply & Maintenance.[25] The Times reported that All County Supply & Maintenance was a "sham company" formed in 1992[25] and owned by Barry, Donald Trump, their siblings, and a cousin. All County Building Supply & Maintenance reportedly paid for work performed at Fred Trump's apartment buildings; those apartment buildings then reimbursed All County Building Supply & Maintenance, but fraudulently added extra monies to those reimbursements. Tax experts reportedly indicated that because All County "performed no real work, the transfer of money through the corporation was essentially a gift that evaded the 55 percent tax in place at the time".[26] Its address was the Manhasset, New York, residence of John Walter, Fred Trump's nephew.[25][Notes 1] In a follow-up article, The Times reported that the money illicitly earned by All County was split by the Trump siblings.[26]

In October 2018, as a result of the publication of The Times' investigation, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance began a review of the fraud allegations against Barry and her siblings.[24][27][17]


  1. ^ According to the investigation by The Times, John Walter (1934 - 2018) managed Fred Trump's business records. Said records filled the basement of Walter's Manhasset residence. The investigation by The Times included thousands of documents such as "bank statements, financial audits, accounting ledgers, cash disbursement reports, invoices and canceled checks" and over 200 of Fred Trump's tax returns.


  1. ^ a b Foster, Alice (April 5, 2017). "Judge Maryanne Trump Barry in pictures: Trump's sister celebrates 80th birthday". Daily Express. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Horowitz, Jason (August 18, 2015). "Familiar Talk on Women, From an Unfamiliar Trump". Politics. New York Times. Archived from the original on November 10, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  3. ^ Johnson, Jenna (October 11, 2015). "Donald Trump Says His Older Sister Isn't Interested in Becoming a Supreme Court Judge". Politics. Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 12, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  4. ^ Candlish, Jane (May 16, 2015). "Councillor Welcomes Trump Donation to Western Isles Care Home". The Press and Journal. Aberdeen, Scotland. Archived from the original on November 4, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Blair, Gwenda (December 4, 2001) [2000]. The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a President. Simon & Schuster. p. 592. ASIN 0743210794. ISBN 9780743210799.CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Barry, Maryanne Trump". Federal Judicial Center. Archived from the original on November 4, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  7. ^ Margolick, David (December 4, 1992). "At the Bar". New York Times. Archived from the original on November 11, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Maryanne Desmond Weds John Barry". Style. New York Times. December 27, 1982. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on November 11, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  9. ^ Johnston, David Cay (19 October 2016). "The Drug Trafficker Donald Trump Risked His Casino Empire to Protect" – via
  10. ^ Kamen, Al (2015). "When President Clinton Did a Very Nice Thing for Donald Trump". PowerPost. Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 13, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2017. Barry, a Republican and Reagan-appointed federal trial judge at the time, reportedly was herself surprised she was picked.
  11. ^ a b "Barry, Maryanne Trump | Federal Judicial Center".
  12. ^ "When President Clinton did a very nice thing for Donald Trump". Washington Post.
  13. ^ Ackermann, Matt (June 21, 1999). "Conservative-with-a-Heart Barry Nominated for Third Circuit Seat". New Jersey Law Journal. 156: 1105. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008 – via Is That Legal? (blog).
  14. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Claude (February 21, 2016). "Cruz again attacks Trump's sister, a N.J. judge".
  15. ^ Mannion, Cara (February 3, 2017). "3rd Circ. Judge, Trump's Sister, Stops Hearing Cases". Law360. Archived from the original on November 4, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  16. ^ Hartfield, Elizabeth; Orden, Erica (October 3, 2018). "A financial disclosure from Donald Trump's sister led to The New York Times report on his taxes". CNN. Archived from the original on October 4, 2018. In 2017, she became an inactive judge.
  17. ^ a b Russ Buettner and Susanne Craig (April 10, 2019). "Retiring as a Judge, Trump's Sister Ends Court Inquiry Into Her Role in Tax Dodges". NYT. Retrieved April 11, 2019.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  18. ^ Gambardello, Joseph A. (April 13, 2019). "Trump's sister retires as federal judge in Philadelphia amid reported probe of family finances". Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Foster, Alice (April 5, 2017). "Judge Maryanne Trump Barry in Pictures: Donald Trump's Sister Celebrates 80th Birthday". Daily Express. Archived from the original on November 4, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  20. ^ "John Barry, 60, Trial and Appellate Lawyer". New York Times. April 18, 2000. Archived from the original on November 11, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  21. ^ "Engagements: Lisa Aitken, David Desmond". Engagements. New York Times. May 31, 1992. Archived from the original on November 11, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  22. ^ Roy, Eleanor (October 9, 2016). "Donald Trump's Sister Gives $4 Million to Fairfield University". Palm Beach Daily News. Archived from the original on November 4, 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  23. ^ Cipollaro, Susan (September 14, 2016). "Honorable Maryanne Trump Barry Donates $4M in Honor of Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., President of Fairfield University" (Press release). Fairfield, Conn.: Fairfield University. Archived from the original on August 20, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Barstow, David; Craig, Susanne; Buettner, Russ (October 2, 2018). "Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father". The New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  25. ^ a b c Smith, Allan (October 3, 2018). "New York Times reveals that its bombshell story on Trump's wealth was made possible by a document his sister submitted to the Senate years ago". Business Insider. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  26. ^ a b Buettner, Russ; Craig, Susanne (December 15, 2018). "As the Trumps Dodged Taxes, Their Tenants Paid a Price". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  27. ^ Borak, Donna; Tatum, Sophie (October 3, 2018). "New York Times investigation: Trump helped his parents evade taxes, 'including instances of outright fraud'". CNN. Retrieved December 15, 2018.

External linksEdit