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Ivana Trump, Donald Trump's first wife, dies at 73

·Senior Writer
·3 min read
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Ivana Trump, the first wife of former President Donald Trump and the mother of his three eldest children, has died, her family said on Thursday. She was 73.

“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,” Donald Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social, his social media platform. “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!”

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Ivana Trump,” her children said in a statement. “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.”

Ivana and Donald Trump
Ivana and Donald Trump at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 1985. (Tom Gates/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

According to ABC News’ New York affiliate, police responded to her residence on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where she was found dead at the bottom of a set of stairs.

ABC reported that her death is not considered suspicious, and police are investigating whether she may have fallen. An initial report from ABC said police believed she died of natural causes.

Ivana Trump, née Zelnickova, was born on Feb. 20, 1949, in Czechoslovakia, and became a competitive skier.

In 1971 she married Alfred Winklmayr, an Austrian ski instructor and friend, so she could obtain Austrian citizenship — and leave the communist Czechoslovakia, according to her lawyer at the time. They divorced in 1973.

She then moved to Canada, working as a ski instructor and model.

From left, Ivana, Eric, Donald and Ivanka Trump
Ivana, Eric, Donald and Ivanka Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., in 1998. (Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)

She met Donald Trump during a modeling trip to New York City in 1976. They were married the following year.

The Trumps’ relationship was often fodder for the tabloids. They divorced in 1992, following his affair with actress Marla Maples.

Donald Trump married Maples in 1993. She gave birth to his fourth child, Tiffany, the same year. They divorced in 1999.

In 2005, Trump married Melania Knauss, a Slovenian model and mother of their son, Barron, who was born the year after their wedding.

Ivana Trump
Ivana Trump at a charity event in 2017. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

After her divorce from Donald, Ivana Trump launched several business ventures, including a line of clothing and beauty products, penned a long-running advice column called "Ask Ivana" and published several books, including her 2017 autobiography, “Raising Trump.”

She had two other short-lived marriages, one to Italian entrepreneur Riccardo Mazzucchelli (1995-97), the other to Italian actor and model Rossano Rubicondi (2008-09).

Her wedding to Rubicondi was hosted by Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Ivanka Trump was her maid of honor.

During her ex-husband's 2016 presidential campaign, their relationship again came under scrutiny.

In a deposition from their divorce case that was revealed in the 1993 book “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump” and resurfaced during his White House bid, Ivana accused Donald of rape. He denied the allegation.

Around the time the book was published, Ivana released a statement saying she had “felt violated” but did not want the word “rape” to "be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”