Donald Trump loves to talk about his dad. According to Donald, Fred Trump was an intense, hard-working man who made him the business giant and political figure he is today. But if you ask yourself what you know about his mother, Mary MacLeod Trump, little — if anything — probably comes to mind. That’s because Donald Trump doesn’t talk about his mother.
We know they weren’t especially close. In Trump’s book, Think Like a Champion, he misspelled his mother’s maiden name. And in 1990, Vanity Fair published a piece featuring a quote from Mary asking, “What kind of son have I created?”
What we do know about Mary Trump, though, is pretty fascinating and may just explain the man who is Donald Trump.
1. Trump may automate tweets about his mother
Trump doesn’t tweet very much about his mother, but, when he does, it’s often the same exact thing, word for word. “Advice from my mother, Mary MacLeod Trump: Trust in God and be true to yourself,” he tweeted periodically throughout 2013, 2014, and 2015. If they aren’t automated, it’s safe to say they’re at least copied and pasted from the last time he thought to remind Twitter of his mother’s words of wisdom. Originally, the exact sentiment came from his 2004 book, How to Get Rich.
2. Mary Trump was born in Scotland
Before she was Mary Trump, Donald’s mother was Mary Anne MacLeod of the village of Tong, a village on Scotland’s Isle of Lewis. She and her family (she was the youngest of 10) did not have easy lives. Her father was a fisherman, and they survived living mostly off of subsistence farming. According to Politico, the family lived “in a modest gray pebble-dash house, surrounded by a landscape of properties local historians and genealogists characterized with terms like ‘human wretchedness’ and ‘indescribably filthy.'”
3. She moved to America during the Depression
At the age of 18, she boarded the SS Transylvania in Glasgow on May 2, 1930, following the footsteps of three of her sisters (one of whom made the journey because she had been banished after giving birth out of wedlock). Though 1930 wasn’t an ideal time to immigrate to America, Mary thought America, even in the midst of the Depression, would bring her better opportunities than Tong.
4. She was a reluctant housewife
Throughout this telling Politico piece on Mary Trump, several people in Donald’s life quoted a lack of presence from Mary. A friend of Donald’s brother told Politico, “We rarely saw Mrs. Trump. But we did see a lot of the housekeeper.”
Marry seemed to more or less stay out of her family’s lives; she’s been described as an “acquiescent housewife” and “a spouse who didn’t hassle her dour, driven husband.”
5. She was extremely active in the community
Though Donald’s friends and family don’t have much recollection of Mary being around and involved in the lives of her children, she was active in the community. “She had worked tirelessly, volunteering at a local hospital, staying active at schools, charities and social clubs, and steering her rose-colored Rolls-Royce to the family’s outer-borough apartment buildings to collect coins from the laundry machines,” reported writer Michael Kruse.
6. She worked as a nanny in New York
Though she told immigration authorities that she was moving to Astoria, Queens to work as a domestic, her daughter has since said that her mother worked as a nanny during her time in Queens. According to Mirror, Mary was “a nanny with a wealthy family in a big house in the suburbs of New York.”
7. She died in 2000
Mary Trump died in New York City at the age of 88 in 2000, just a year after her husband passed. She passed away at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
The notice announcing her death in her hometown’s newspaper read “Peacefully in New York on August 7, Mary Anne Trump, aged 88 years. Daughter of the late Malcolm and Mary MacLeod, 5 Tong. Much missed.”
8. Donald built a golf club in Scotland in 2012, supposedly honoring his mother
In 2006, Donald announced that he was going to build a golf club in Scotland, to honor his mother. “I love the Scotch; I’m a Scotch myself,” he said, using a term that Politico pointed out is often considered offensive “and better suited to describe their whiskey.”
He built the club roughly 200 miles from his mother’s home town. And while he was visiting Tong to check in on the club’s construction, he made a point to visit his mother’s childhood home. The trip lasted three hours, but he spent only 97 seconds inside his mother’s home before heading over to his new golf course.
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