Ivana Trump, the Czech-born ex-wife of Donald Trump, has passed away at age 73

The skier and model met Trump in New York in 1976 and became his business partner as well as his wife.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.07.2022 11:40:00 (updated on 15.07.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Ivana Trump has passed away at 73 years of age. The former wife of Donald Trump was born in then-Czechoslovakia in 1949.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed the news on his social media platform. “I am very saddened to inform all of those that loved her, of which there are many, that Ivana Trump has passed away at her home in New York City. She was a wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life. Her pride and joy were her three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. She was so proud of them, as we were all so proud of her. Rest In Peace, Ivana!” he wrote.

Eric Trump posted a message on behalf of himself and his siblings. “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Ivana Trump. Our mother was an incredible woman — a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty, and caring mother and friend. Ivana Trump was a survivor. She fled from communism and embraced this country. She taught her children about grit and toughness, compassion and determination. She will be dearly missed by her mother, her three children and ten grandchildren.” he said.

Ivanka Trump also issued a statement over social media. “Heartbroken by the passing of my mother. Mom was brilliant, charming, passionate and wickedly funny. She modeled strength, tenacity and determination in her every action. She lived life to the fullest — never forgoing an opportunity to laugh and dance. I will miss her forever and will keep her memory alive in our hearts always,” she said.

No cause of death was given, but U.S. media reports say that it was due to cardiac arrest.

Czech President Miloš Zeman sent his condolences to the Trump children. "Your mother was not only an excellent athlete and a capable manager, but I also remember her as a kind and warm-hearted person. In addition, she remained a proud Czech who never forgot her homeland," Zeman said.

Ivana Trump was born as Ivana Marie Zelníčková on Feb. 20, 1949 in Zlín, when the city in southern Moravia was known as Gottwaldov. Her father was an electrical engineer and her mother, who is now 96 years old, was a telephone operator.

When her parents noticed her aptitude for movement, they encouraged her to pursue a career in sports. She was on the national ski team at the age of 12 and later she studied at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport at Charles University.

She married Austrian skier Alfred Winklmayr in 1971 so she could gain Austrian citizenship and travel. She divorced him a year later and moved to Canada in 1973 to begin a modeling career.

She met Donald Trump while modeling in New York in 1976. They married a year later, and the couple was a key figure in the New York social scene. They also went into business together, building hotels and casinos. Among other things, she managed the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The marriage ended in divorce in 1992 after Trump's affair with former Miss Georgia Marla Maples.

After the split, Ivana Trump launched her own business centered on beauty products, clothing, and jewelry.

Ivana Trump’s third married in 1995 to Italian Riccardo Mazzucchelli lasted two years. Her fourth and final husband was Italian model Rossano Rubicondi from 2008 to 2009.

She recently has had a friendly relationship with Donald Trump, and in 2016 she supported his candidacy for president of the United States. She told the tabloid New York Post at the time that she was both a supporter and adviser to her ex-husband. During the campaign, she expressed interest in being appointed the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. President Zeman in a telephone call to Trump recommended her for the post, but it eventually went to businessman and former FBI agent Stephen B. King.

When she was promoting her autobiography “Raising Trump” in 2017, she said she spoke with the then-president about every two weeks. She also noted that she doesn't call him very often because of his wife, Melania. "I don't want to stir up any jealousy or anything like that," she said.

She visited Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic several times after the Velvet Revolution. In 1990, Trump accompanied her on a trip to attend her father’s funeral.

She was a member of the jury at the Czech Miss finals and appeared at cultural and sporting events including an Opera Gala in 1992 where she was photographed with Karel Gott and the World Ski Championships in Liberec in 2009. In 2016, she met Czech President Zeman in New York when Zeman was there on a working visit. The two met again at Prague Castle a year later.

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