Celebrity Deaths

Maria von Trapp Biography; Maiden Name, Wedding, Grave, Young, Costume

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Maria von Trapp was the stepmother and matriarch of the Trapp Family Singers.

Maria is best known for writing The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, which was published in 1949.

Maria was also the inspiration for the 1956 West German film The Trapp Family, which in turn inspired the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music and its 1965 film version.

Maria von Trapp maiden name

Maria von Trapp was born Maria Augusta Kutschera on January 26, 1905 to Augusta (née Rainer) and Karl Kutschera.

Maria was delivered on a train heading from her parents’ village in Tyrol to a hospital in Vienna, Austria.

Maria von Trapp young

Maria’s mom died of pneumonia when she was two.

Following her mom’s death, her dad was grief-stricken and left her with his cousin (her foster mother) who had cared for Maria’s half-brother after his mother died.

When Maria was nine, her father died and her foster mother’s son-in-law, Uncle Franz, then became her guardian.

Uncle Franz, who was later found to be mentally ill did not treat Maria well and punished her for things she did not do.

After graduating from high school at 15, Maria ran away to stay with a friend with the intent of becoming a tutor for children staying at nearby hotels.

Maria Von Trap
Image Credit: Biography

Because Maria looked so young, no one took her seriously.


Somehow, a hotel manager asked her to be the umpire for a tennis tournament and though she did not know what an umpire was and had never played tennis, she took the job.

From this job, Maria saved enough money to enter the State Teachers College for Progressive Education in Vienna, where she also received a scholarship.

Maria graduated from there at age 18, in 1923.

In 1924, Maria entered Nonnberg Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Salzburg, as a postulant intending to become a nun.

Maria von Trapp wedding

Maria was asked to teach one of the seven children (Maria Franziska) of widowed naval commander Georg von Trapp in 1926, while she was still a schoolteacher at the abbey.

Georg von Trapp’s wife, Agathe Whitehead, had died in 1922 from scarlet fever.

Eventually, Maria began to look after the other children (Rupert, Agathe, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna and Martina), as well.

Georg saw how Maria cared for the kids and asked her to marry him.

Initially, Maria refused but changed her mind after she was counseled by her mother abbess, who advised her that it was God’s will that she should marry Georg.

Maria and Georg got married on 26 November 1927 and had three children together: Rosmarie (born 1929), Eleonore (“Lorli”) (born 1931) and Johannes (born 1939).

Maria von Trapp costume

Maria von Trapp grave

Maria von Trapp died of heart failure on 28 March 1987 at 82 in Morrisville, Vermont and she is interred in the family cemetery at the lodge in Stowe, Lamoille County, Vermont, USA, along with her husband and five of her step-children.

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