Ivana Trump, the ex-wife of Czech American businesswoman and former president Donald Trump, died Thursday in Manhattan. She was 73.
The 45th president announced the death of his first wife and mother of his three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric, on his Truth Social platform.
“I am very sorry to inform all those who loved her, of whom there are many, that Ivana Trump has passed away at her home in New York City,” he wrote. “She was a wonderful, beautiful and amazing woman who led an amazing and inspiring life.”
He continued, “Her pride and joy were her three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. She was as proud of them as we were all so proud of her. Rest in peace, Ivana!”
Police are investigating whether Ivana Trump may have fallen down the stairs of her home on East 64th Street, police sources told The Post. She was found at the bottom of the stairs and is believed to have had a cardiac arrest, although the city’s doctor’s office will determine the official cause of death.
Building staff discovered her body around 12:40 p.m., and called police, sources said.
Ivana Trump’s health had been declining over the past few years, a source close to the family said.
Born Ivana Marie Zelníčková in Czechoslovakia, Ivana Trump was a competitive skier in her youth, and almost reached the Olympic team, according to some reports.
She worked as a model in the early ’70s and met her future husband Donald Trump in New York City in 1976. They married a year later. The two divorced in 1992, but she retained her ex-husband’s famous surname.
Ivana Trump was known for her taste for the finer things in life, her flashy interior and her big blonde hair.
Her marriage to the then real estate mogul put her in the spotlight, where she both shone and struggled. As part of the 1980s high society in New York, Ivana Trump called people like Michael Jackson his friends and routinely found herself on the covers of magazines and newspapers.
“You could not walk down the street without people stopping her. Not everyone loved Donald Trump, everyone loved Ivana Trump, her friend and former publicist Todd Shapiro told The Post. “She always had her dog with her, Tiger. Tiger sat with her at the table wherever she went. Tiger was her partner in crime.”
Outside his mother’s townhouse on Thursday, after her death was announced, Eric Trump told reporters, “It’s a very sad day, boys. It’s a very sad day,” when he left with his wife Lara Trump.
In a statement, he said that “our mother was an incredible woman – a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty and caring mother and friend.
“She will be greatly missed by her mother, her three children and ten grandchildren,” he added.
A source close to Ivanka Trump told The Post that the former first daughter was in “shock” over her mother’s death.
“They were super close,” the source said, adding that Ivana Trump had spent her last days with the family in New York City.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Ivanka Trump wrote that she was “crushed over my mother’s passing”.
“Mother was brilliant, charming, passionate and viciously funny. She modeled strength, perseverance and determination in every action. She lived life to the fullest – and never gave up the opportunity to laugh and dance,” she said.
Ivana Trump proudly worked for the former president through their 15-year marriage. She was the CEO and president of Atlantic City, NJ, the Trump’s Castle casino in the ’80s, and had the role of the Trump organization’s vice president of interior design and manager of the Plaza Hotel.
In 1988, she told Vanity Fair that “Donald calls me his twin as a woman” and often referred to the former president as “The Donald.”
Her friend of five decades Roger Stone told The Post after her death that in addition to being “a gracious lady, an amazing mother and an incredible hostess … Ivana was also an amazing businesswoman and manager.”
“She ran a tight ship at the Plaza Hotel and significantly improved the property’s performance,” he said.
Shapiro said she ran the casino in New Jersey “like a five-star general.”
But the power couple’s marriage soured when Donald Trump’s affair with model Marla Maples became public. The couple then married and had daughter Tiffany Trump.
Ivana and Donald Trump’s resulting divorce drew international attention, and during a handover of the case, she accused her then-husband of rape. She later dismissed the claim when Donald Trump ran for office in 2015.
“I have recently read some comments attributed to me from almost 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Anders,” she said in the July 2015 statement. “The story is completely worthless. Anders and I are best friends and have raised 3 children together, whom we love and are very proud of.”
Ivana Trump tried to take her ex-husband for everything he was worth, including the Plaza Hotel. She told Oprah Winfrey in an interview at the time that “I do not want men to dominate me anymore.”
In a not-so-subtle nod to the breakup, Ivana Trump made an iconic role in the 1996 film “The First Wives Club,” which helped cement her legacy as a cultural icon beyond her marriage.
“Dear ladies, you must be strong and independent. And remember, do not get angry – get everything,” she said in the film.
Still, the former couple remained close for the rest of her life. A source close to the family told The Post that she called Donald Trump all the time during his presidency to give him advice. She often called herself the “real Mrs. Trump,” to the great annoyance of his now-wife Melania Trump.
She claims to have rejected the president’s offer to be ambassador to her home country, the Czech Republic, and said she preferred her freedom. “I would hate Washington,” she said in 2017, adding that she did not envy Melania Trump’s role as first lady.
“Would I fix the White House in 14 days? Absolutely. Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without teleprompts? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I did not really want to be there, ”she said.
Ivana Trump then married twice after Donald Trump – first in 1995 with Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli, whom she divorced two years later, and again with Rossano Rubicondi in 2008. Rubicondi, an Italian model and actor, was more than 20 years old younger than her.
The couple were married in Mar-a-Lago at a wedding hosted by the former president, and daughter Ivanka served as maid of honor. They divorced a year later, but later reunited until things officially ended in 2019. Rubicondi, often referred to as Ivana’s boy toy, died in 2021 of melanoma complications.
In the last years of her life, Ivana Trump divided her time between New York, Miami and St-Tropez.
While she was known for her extravagant lifestyle, sources told Page Six in 2018 that she would often scarf hot dogs down from an Upper East Side food cart.
Former Vanity Fair columnist George Wayne said he was “very close” to Ivana Trump, whom he called his “Godmama Ivana,” and who he said was, to the surprise of many, “truly a hermit.” She became more withdrawn during Trump’s presidency, he said.
Her closest neighbor on the Upper East Side, meanwhile, remembered Ivana Trump as “impeccable” with never a hair misplaced.
“What can I say about her? I think her life would have been easier if she changed her name,” Broadway producer Judith Ann Abrams told The Post.
“It’s the end of an era on this block. She was always very sweet to us, very kind… I’ll miss her.”
Additional reporting by Steven Vago