Ivana Trump, Ex-Wife and Business Partner of Donald Trump, Dead at 73

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Donald Trump - Credit: Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch/MediaPunch/IPx/AP Photo
Donald Trump - Credit: Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch/MediaPunch/IPx/AP Photo

Ivana Trump, the ex-wife and longtime business partner of former President Donald Trump, died Thursday, July 14, at her home in New York City, ABC News reports. She was 73.

The Trump family confirmed her death in a statement, saying, “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.”

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An exact cause of death was not revealed, though the FDNY said paramedics responded to a call for cardiac arrest. 

Former President Trump wrote 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!” (Trump’s message was included in an email from his PAC to supporters that also notably included a fundraising link.)

Born Ivana Marie Zelníčková in the former Czechoslovakia, Trump emigrated to North America in the early Seventies, first living in Canada, where she worked as a model and ski instructor. She met Donald Trump in 1976 and the couple married a year later. Their first son, Donald Trump, Jr., was born in 1977, their daughter Ivanka was born in 1981, and Eric Trump was born in 1984.

During the Eighties, the Trumps were tabloid mainstays and close business partners. Ivana helped Donald develop Trump Tower in Manhattan and the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. She also served as the CEO of Trump’s Castle, another Atlantic City property; managed the Plaza Hotel in New York City, which Trump owned between 1988 and 1995; and served as the Vice President for interior design for the Trump Organization.

After 13 years of marriage, the Ivana and Donald split — in part because of Donald’s affair with his eventual second wife, Marla Maples — and their divorce swiftly became a tabloid sensation. During the divorce proceedings, Ivana stated in a sworn deposition that Donald — angry after undergoing an unexpectedly painful procedure to cover up a bald spot using a plastic surgeon Ivana had recommended — had torn out a handful of her hair and raped her. In the midst of Donald’s presidential campaign in 2015, when the rape story resurfaced alongside numerous other allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Trump, Ivana said the story was “totally without merit.” 

Following the divorce, Ivana threw herself into a variety of business ventures, selling clothes, jewelry, and beauty products through shopping networks like QVC. She also wrote several books, including 1992’s For Love Alone, 1995’s The Best Is Yet to Come: Coping With Divorce and Enjoying Life Again, and 2017’s Raising Trump, about raising her marriage to Trump and raising their three children.

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