Last updated on April 25th, 2023 at 07:38 am
Ivana Marie Trump (née Zelnícková) was a Czech-American businesswoman, media personality, fashion designer, socialite, author, and model. She was born on February 20, 1949, in the Czech Republic (Czechia). Ivana Trump first gained attention as a fashion model in the 1970s, before marrying businessman and future US President Donald Trump in 1977. She played a comprehensive role in her former husband’s business ventures, including serving as vice president of interior design for The Trump Organization, as well as managing the Plaza Hotel and the Trump’s Castle casino resort.
Following her divorce from Donald Trump in 1992, Ivana Trump continued to build her successful career in the fashion industry, launching her line of clothing, jewelry, and beauty products. She also authored several books, including the autobiography “Raising Trump” and works of fiction and self-help.
Ivana Trump passed away on July 14, 2022, at the age of 73.
Ivana Trump’s Early life and education
Ivana Marie Trump (née Zelnícková) was born on February 20, 1949, in Gottwaldov, Czechoslovakia (now Zlín, Czech Republic). She grew up in a middle-class family and was raised in communist-era Czechoslovakia. Her father, Miloš Zelnícek, was an engineer, and her mother, Marie Francová, was a homemaker.
Ivana attended Charles University in Prague where she studied physical education and languages. After completing her studies, she worked as a model and in 1971, she moved to Canada to be a ski instructor.
In 1976, Ivana moved to New York City and worked as a model before meeting Donald Trump, who was a real estate developer at the time. Both married in 1977 and went on to have three children together, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric.
Ivana Trump’s Marriage to Donald Trump
Ivana married Donald Trump in 1977. Donald was a rising star in the New York City real estate world at that time and Ivana was a successful model. The two had a lavish wedding and quickly became one of the most high-profile couples in New York City society.
During their marriage, Ivana worked alongside Donald in his business ventures and helped to manage his properties. She also became involved in various philanthropic causes, including serving as a board member of the “American Red Cross”.
The couple had three children together, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, and they were married for 15 years before divorcing in 1992. Their divorce was highly publicized and involved a significant settlement for Ivana, including a reported $14 million settlement and properties in New York City, Connecticut, and Florida. Despite their divorce, the two have remained on good terms and have continued to co-parent their children.
Ivana Trump’s Divorce from Donald Trump
The Trumps’ marriage was far from a fairy tale. Their troubles became the stuff of tabloid legend when Ivana caught Donald with his mistress, Marla Maples, during a Christmas vacation in Aspen in 1989. The couple’s already strained relationship continued to unravel, with Donald locking Ivana out of her office at the Plaza Hotel in February 1990. This sparked a legal battle over the validity of their prenuptial agreements, which had been renegotiated several times over the years.
The divorce proceedings between Ivana and Donald were nothing short of a media circus. The New York tabloids splashed front-page coverage for eleven straight days, turning the Trumps’ private drama into a public spectacle. During the proceedings, Ivana accused Donald of rape and of pulling out handfuls of her hair. She later clarified her statements, saying that she used the word “rape” in a more figurative sense.
Ultimately, the divorce was granted on the grounds of inhumane treatment by Donald. Ivana was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of the settlement, preventing her from publicly discussing their marriage without Donald’s permission. In return, she received a sizable settlement, including $14 million, a mansion in Connecticut, an apartment in Trump Plaza, and the use of “Mar-a-Lago” for one month a year.
Ivana Trump’s Career
Having a successful career as a fashion model. Ivana also works as a socialite and businesswoman. She started her modeling career in the late 1960s, working for fashion designers in Canada and the United States. In the early 1970s, she moved to New York City and continued her modeling career. She had also appeared on the covers of high-profile magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan.
In addition to her modeling work, Ivana became involved in the business world, working as a fashion editor for a magazine and opening her fashion boutique in New York City in the mid-1980s. Ivana is known as a “charismatic workaholic” and a “career woman” who was deliberately chosen by Trump to work beside him and challenge him is also noteworthy.
She also worked alongside her husband, Donald Trump, on several real estate projects, including the construction of the Trump Tower in Manhattan and the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
After her divorce from Donald Trump, Ivana continued to build her business empire. She launched her line of clothing, jewelry, and beauty products, and also wrote several books, including a memoir entitled “Raising Trump” and a novel called “For Love Alone“. In recent years, she has appeared on reality TV shows such as “The Celebrity Apprentice” and “Dancing With the Stars”, and has continued to be a prominent figure in the world of fashion and entertainment.
Ivana Trump’s Writing Career
Ivana Trump is a published author who has written several books on varieties of topics such as fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Her first book, “For Love Alone” (1992), was a novel about a Czech model who marries an American tycoon. She has also written several non-fiction books, including “The Best is Yet to Come: Coping with Divorce and Enjoying Life Again” (1995), “The First Lady” (1996), and “Free to Love” (1997).
Ivana Trump’s Business Venture
Following her divorce from Donald Trump, Ivana Trump ventured into the fashion and beauty industry, creating her lines of clothing, fashion jewelry, and beauty products that were sold through popular television shopping channels. She also founded House of Ivana, a fashion and fragrance company in New York City in 1995.
In 1998, Ivana turned her attention to Croatia, where she purchased 33% of the nation’s second-largest daily newspaper and pursued other business interests in the country, which her parents frequently visited.
However, her business ventures were not always successful. In 2004, the Ivana-branded Bentley Bay development in Miami, Florida, filed for bankruptcy, and a proposed condominium project, Ivana Las Vegas, was never built.
In 2010, Ivana filed a lawsuit against Finnish fashion company Ivana Helsinki, claiming that they were selling women’s clothing that used her name without permission.
Ivana Trump’s Personal Life
Ivana Trump has been married four times. Her first marriage was to Austrian ski instructor Alfred Winklmayr in 1971, but the marriage was short-lived, and they divorced the following year.
Her second marriage was to real estate developer Donald Trump in 1977. They had three children together: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. The couple’s highly publicized divorce was finalized in 1992.
In 1995, she married Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1997.
In 2008, she married Rossano Rubicondi, an Italian model and actor, in a lavish ceremony in Palm Beach, Florida. However, the marriage was short-lived, and they divorced in 2009.
Ivana has been involved in various charitable and philanthropic causes, including serving as a board member of the New York City Mission Society, which helps disadvantaged children and families, and supporting organizations that focus on children’s health and education.
Ivana Trump’s Death
On July 14, 2022, at the age of 73, Ivana died of blunt impact injuries to the torso after falling down stairs at her home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Her ex-husband Donald and their three children, alongside several politicians and celebrities, posted condolences on social media. Her funeral was held on July 20 at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, a Roman Catholic church near her home. Ivana was buried at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Ivana left behind an estate worth $32 million. In her will, the majority of her assets were to be divided among Don Jr, Ivanka, and Eric. Other beneficiaries include personal friend Evelyne Garnet and the family’s former nanny, Dorothy Curry.