KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Margaret Truman, the only child of former President Harry S. Truman who became a concert singer, actress, radio and TV personality and mystery writer, died Tuesday. She was 83.
Truman, known as Margaret Truman Daniel in private life, died at a Chicago assisted living facility following a brief illness, according to Susan Medler, a spokeswoman for the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence. She had been at the facility for the past several weeks and was on a respirator, the library said.
Her father's succession to the presidency in 1945 thrust her into the national spotlight while a college junior.
'I feel that I've lived several different lives and that was one of them,' she said in 1980. 'Some of it was fun, but most of it was not. It was a great view of history being made.
'The only thing I ever missed about the White House was having a car and driver,' she once said.
Her singing career attracted the barbs of music critics - even the embarrassment of having her father threaten one reviewer. But she found a fulfilling professional and personal life in New York City where she met her husband, journalist Clifton Daniel, who later became managing editor of The New York Times. They married in 1956.
She published her first book, an autobiography titled 'Souvenir,' in 1956. She said it was 'hard work' and told reporters: 'One writing job is enough.'
But then she did a book on White House pets in 1969, and later more, one a biography of her father. The idea of doing a mystery called 'Murder in the White House' came 'out of nowhere,' she said.
That 1980 title was followed by mysteries set in the Supreme Court, the Smithsonian, Embassy Row, the FBI, Georgetown, the CIA, Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral and the Pentagon. The last book, 'Murder on K Street,' was released last year. Donald Bain, a well-known ghost writer, was rumored to have written Truman's mysteries, but he has denied it.