Mary L. Trump

On this date in 1965, psychologist and author Mary Lea Trump was born in New York City to Linda Lee Clapp, a flight attendant, and Fred Trump Jr., a commercial airline pilot and future President Donald Trump’s older brother. She has a brother, Fred Trump III.

Her father died of a heart attack exacerbated by alcoholism at age 42 when she was 16. “We were sort of knee-jerk Protestants. We didn’t go to church much. I did Sunday School for a little bit. I actually used to wear a cross, which I think is hysterical now. As soon as my dad died, though, it was over for me.” (Sydney Morning Herald, Sept. 17, 2021)

She studied English literature at Tufts University in Massachusetts, earned a master’s in English literature at Columbia University and received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Adelphi University on Long Island, N.Y. Trump worked at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center while doing research for her doctorate and later taught graduate courses in developmental psychology, trauma and psychopathology.  She received certification as a professional life coach and founded a New York-based company in 2012 called the Trump Coaching Group.

She contributed to the book “Diagnosis: Schizophrenia,” published by Columbia University Press in 2001. Her book “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” was an unauthorized 2020 biography of her uncle Donald. Legal efforts to stop publication failed and it sold nearly a million copies on the first day of sales.

Her 2021 book “The Reckoning: Our Nation’s Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal” detailed damage to the U.S. from what Trump called systemic racism and the nation’s failure to address the scourge of white supremacy. She hosts “The Mary Trump Show,” a podcast focusing on “politics, pop culture and everything in between.” 

In “Too Much and Never Enough,” Trump said the family’s homophobia caused her to stay in the closet for many years out of fear of being disowned. She wrote that her grandmother, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, called Elton John a “faggot” who shouldn’t be performing at Princess Diana’s memorial, so she hid her plans to marry a woman. Now divorced, Trump conceived a daughter, Avary, through in-vitro fertilization, raising her on Long Island.

She has expressed concern that “increasingly there is an empowering of white evangelical Christians who are increasingly intolerant and have an outsized voice in our politics. I don’t think you can be elected to higher office in this country if you don’t espouse religious views. That’s really troubling.” (Ibid.)

Asked how Donald Trump was able to successfully court evangelicals despite his lack of religion, she commented: “He certainly hasn’t read the Bible. This is a thrice-married person, with five children from three different marriages, who has 26 accusations of sexual assault against him. And yet you know what they said? That God ‘sometimes picks imperfect vessels.’ ” (Ibid.) 

PHOTO: Trump at the Nexus Institute roundtable “Why is fascism popular again?” in December 2021. YouTube screenshot under CC 3.0.

Freedom From Religion Foundation