Harry and Bess on their wedding day, June 28, 1919
Harry Truman and Bess Truman were blessed with one child, Mary Margaret Truman. During her father’s presidency, she regularly joined him on campaign trips, was a common sight at important events in the White House, and became a sweetheart of the media. Read below discover how she was as a Presidential daughter and how she crafted a life of her own.
Childhood and Education
Harry and Bess’ only child and daughter, Mary Margaret Truman
Mary Margaret Truman was the only offspring brought by the love of Harry and Bess Truman. She was born on February 17, 1924, in the country-seat town of Independence, Missouri. Her first name was derived from her aunt, Mary Jane Truman, while her other name, Margaret, came from her grandmother from her mom’s side, Margaret Gates Wallace.
Margaret studied in a public school in their hometown until her father was elected as a Senator in 1934. She then had to study in two different locations, September to January in Independence and January to May in Washington, DC.
After finishing high school in 1942, Margaret went to George Washington University. Two years later, she earned her Associate of Arts Degree, and in 1946, she finished her Bachelor’s Degree in History. Harry S. Truman, who has already been appointed as President since April 12, 1945, was the one who did the commencement and awarded her daughter her diploma.
The Truman Family
During his father’s presidency, Margaret played an active role accompanying him in his campaign activities. One of these was the famous nationwide ‘Whistle-stop’ campaign, a train-borne trip that lasted for a few weeks. She was also active in most political events and gathering in the White House during those years. With that, Margaret quickly became a darling to the media.
In 1946, she then started taking voice lessons through their family friend. A year after, her career as a coloratura soprano began. Margaret made her first concert appearance, singing a radio hookup with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which was played nationwide. Since then, she started her colorful musical journey and appeared in various concerts and recitals.
Margaret first sang in front of an outdoor crowd in the 1947 Hollywood Bowl. It was estimated that 20,000 spectators witnessed the event with the American-Hungarian conductor Eugene Ormandy taking charge of the orchestra. In October of the same year, she started her concert tour with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as its initial stop. One of her most memorable appearances was in December also of the same year when she sang in Constitution Hall. It was her first concert in Washington, and more significantly, it was her parents’ first time to see her perform in public.
Margaret’s fruitful musical career continued years after. In 1949, she made her first concert in Carnegie Hall and returned to Constitution Hall, but this time, backed up by the National Symphony Orchestra. Another momentous event happened in 1950 when Margaret first appeared on national television through Ed Sullivan’s ‘Toast of the Town.’
In 1953, Margaret transferred to New York City and resumed her work at the National Broadcasting Corporation. She first appeared in the network through an acting debut in an episode of NBC radios’ Screen Directors Playhouse in 1951. She also appeared as a featured soloist in a ‘Sari’ presentation on ‘The Railroad Hour.’
In 1995, she substituted as host for ‘Person to Person’ where she had the chance to interview her parents. Her journalistic career prospered, and she became a hostess on the radio program, ‘Weekday.’ In 1965, she began her first show on television as a co-host of a special events program. She continued to appear on different stints on television and radio, such as ‘Authors in the News,’ and ‘The Big Show.’
In 1972, Margaret shifted into writing. Her first works were about her life and family. However, in 1980, she started writing crime-mystery novels. All of the stories included a notable landmark in Washington, such as ‘Murder in the Supreme Court,’ ‘Murder in the White House,’ and ‘Murder on K Street.’ Her novels became renowned for her realistic descriptions of the Washington social scene.
Mary Margaret’s Family
Mary Margaret Truman first met his soon-to-be-husband, Clifton Daniel, in 1955. Clifton was serving as an assistant to New York Times’ international news editor. A year later, they got married at Trinity Episcopal Church in Margaret’s hometown. The couple was blessed with four offspring: Clifton Truman (1957), William Wallace (1959), Harrison Gates (1963), and Thomas Washington (1966). They were also blessed with five grandchildren.
Starting from 1977 until her death in 2008, Margaret was part of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, wherein she acted as the secretary to the Board of Trustees. The said body provides aid to students who aim to pursue a career in Government. Margaret also played an important role in the Harry S. Truman Library Institute. She acted as one of its board directors and helped the library conduct its educational works. In 1984, she was awarded the Harry S. Truman Public Service Recognition from Independence, Missouri, for being an exemplary American citizen.