Peggy McDonnell, 63, is married to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr, who filed state charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on March 13, 2019.
McDonnell and Vance tied the knot in 1984 and have two children together. McDonnell is a professional photographer and runs her own company called Beech Tree Studios. Vance’s office in Manhattan is decorated with black-and-white photos his wife shot.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Peggy McDonnell Runs a Photography & Printing Studio From Upstate New York
Peggy McDonnell is the owner of Beech Tree Studios. It is based in Chatham, New York, which is located about 125 miles north of New York City.
McDonnell described her expertise on the company’s website: “Shooting with film and printing in a dark room remains my favorite way to create photographs. My work is varied; I have shot weddings, in prisons, my family, home interiors, around the world and especially around this farm.”
The Beech Tree Studios Instagram page has multiple family photos, including childhood pictures of Peggy and Cyrus’ son and daughter, who are both adults. The above photo is of her daughter, Clare, who joked in the comments that she hadn’t “touched a basketball since.”
McDonnell shared the above photo of her husband, Cyrus Vance, looking at his phone as he walks down a Manhattan street. She wrote, “Taking some slings and arrows but standing strong.” This was around the time Vance was being criticized for a decision in 2015 not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein on a sex crime.
2. McDonnell Sells Stationery With a Company Called ‘Glassybaby’ in Seattle
Peggy McDonnell focuses part of her business on prints and stationery. She explained on her website, “The letterpress branch of Beech Tree is my effort to encourage handwritten communication for every occasion — for gratitude, for congratulations, for mourning, for keeping in touch. The paper is usually from Italy but I recently began working with heavier card stock. Collections change seasonally. In Seattle, WA, you can find my stationary at glassybaby. In Lenox, MA, it is sold at Local.”
McDonnell periodically posts pictures from Seattle and tags Glassybaby.
The family lived in Seattle from 1988 until 2004. Vance co-founded a law firm there and taught at the Seattle University School of Law.
3. Peggy McDonnell Worked at an Art Gallery in Ireland After College
Peggy McDonnell was born on February 29, 1956. According to her wedding announcement in the New York Times, she attended Hamilton College, a private liberal arts school located about 40 miles east of Syracuse.
After graduating, McDonnell worked overseas for a time. She served as an administrative assistant with the Taylor Galleries in Dublin, Ireland. The gallery opened in 1978 and shows “a selection of contemporary and 20th-century Irish painting, sculpture, print and works on paper.”
4. Peggy McDonnell & Cyrus Vance Got Married in 1984 & Have Two Adult Children
Peggy McDonnell and Cyrus Vance Jr. first met as children. Vance told a Page Six reporter in 2009 that he had a crush on one of McDonnell’s older sisters back in the day. “But the sister didn’t love me back and, spurned, 15 years later I met Peggy again and we hit it off.”
Vance said the couple began dating while McDonnell was living in Ireland. They got married in 1984 in their late 20s.
According to their wedding announcement, the ceremony took place at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Brigid in Peapack, New Jersey.
They have two grown children named Simon and Clare.
5. McDonnell’s Great-Grandfather Was the Inventor Thomas E. Murray, Who is Credited With Expanding New York City’s Electrical Grid
Peggy McDonnell is the great-granddaughter of National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee Thomas E. Murray. He is credited with expanding New York City’s electrical grid. His bio on the organization’s website explains that Murray had 462 patents that “covered everything from power plants to light sockets, including fuses, meters, switches, conduits, sockets, and dimmers. His inventions improved the safety of interior electric wiring which helped give birth to the electrical appliance industry.”
McDonell has seven siblings, according to her father’s obituary. She has three sisters: Pia Pearce, Megan Kyle, and Anna Harper. She has four brothers: Michael, Stephen, Terence and Andrew.