Former US President Donald Trump’s first wife and the mother of his three eldest children, Ivana Trump, has died at age 73, her family and ex-husband said.
“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 said in a post on the social media platform Truth Social on Thursday.
The couple married in 1977 and divorced in 1992. They had three children together: Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric.
In a separate statement, the family praised Ivana as “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,” the family said.
She was born Ivana Zelnickova in 1949 in the city of Gottwaldov in the former Czechoslovakia.
“She will be dearly missed by her mother, her three children and ten grandchildren,” the family said.
Neither the Trump family statement nor the post from the former president mentioned the cause of her death.
The Trumps were a publicity power couple in New York in the 1980s and 1990s – and had an equally public, and messy, divorce after Donald Trump met his next wife, Marla Maples.
But in recent years, Ivana Trump had been on good terms with her former husband. She wrote in a 2017 book that they spoke about once a week.
Ivana told the New York Post in 2016 that she was both a supporter and adviser to the former president. “I suggest a few things,” she told the newspaper. “We speak before and after the appearances and he asks me what I thought.” She said she advised him to “be more calm”.
“But Donald cannot be calm,” she added. “He’s very outspoken. He just says it as it is.”
In his post on Thursday, Donald Trump praised her as “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!”