Ivana Trump's Life in Photos

The businesswoman and former wife of Donald Trump built a larger-than-life persona

01 of 10

Ivana Trump's Early Days

Bob Sacha/Corbis/Getty

Ivana Trump was born in Zlin, Czech Republic, on Feb. 20, 1949, the only child of construction designer Milos Zelnicek and his wife Marie, a telephone operator. As a college student, she married an Austrian acquaintance — which got her out of the country and eventually, to Canada. The marriage was ultimately dissolved.

Working as a model, she met businessman Donald Trump in 1976 and nine months later, they married.

In a 1988 chat with Oprah Winfrey, the two offered a glimpse into the dynamics of their marriage.

"We should have world record-setting fights, but we really don't, we get along very well, and there's not a lot of disagreement, because ultimately Ivana does exactly as I tell her to do," Donald said.

"Male chauvinist," Ivana replied with a laugh.

02 of 10

Ivana and Donald Trump's Kids

Source: Donald Trump Jr./Instagram

Together, Donald and Ivana had three children: Donald Jr. (born in 1977), Ivanka (born in 1981) and Eric (born in 1984), who attended private schools in Manhattan, with Ivanka eventually turning to modeling and designing like her mom and all three joining the family real estate business as adults. They spent their weeks at the family penthouse on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, often traveling to a home in Greenwich, Connecticut, on the weekends for glimpses of a "normal family life," a neighbor told PEOPLE in 1990.

"My mother is my inspiration," Ivanka, also a mom of three, told PEOPLE in 2016. "She was the ultimate role model. It was always clear to us that we were her priority, but that doesn't mean we got her 24 hours a day."

03 of 10

Ivana and Donald Trump's Marriage and Divorce

Donald Trump, real estate mogul, entrepreneur, and billionare, relaxes at his home with his wife, Ivana Trump
Donald Trump and Ivana Trump in 1987. Joe McNally/Getty

Though the couple had millions thanks to Donald's father's real estate empire, Ivana worked, commuting to Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the week to manage the Trump Castle hotel and casino before working in Manhattan properties and later launching her own fashion and beauty lines.

The pair's explosive early '90s divorce made headlines for weeks, as a prenuptial agreement showed Ivana would get $25 million, a Connecticut mansion, spousal and child support, plus time at Mar-a-Lago and potential additional funds.

"I can only shake my head at how it insane it was," Ivana wrote in her 2017 memoir Raising Trump. "I couldn't turn on the television without hearing my name."

In the book, Ivana wrote that she knew her marriage was doomed after a 1989 run-in with Marla Maples, who was having an affair with Donald and later married him, during a Christmastime ski holiday in Aspen.

"This young blonde woman approached me out of the blue and said 'I'm Marla and I love your husband. Do you?'" Ivana wrote. "I said 'Get lost. I love my husband.' It was unladylike but I was in shock."

04 of 10

Ivana Trump with Her Children

Arnaldo Magnani/Getty.

Ivana wrote about her role as a mother in her 2017 memoir, Raising Trump, saying, "I believe the credit for raising such great kids belongs to me. I was in charge of raising our children before our divorce, and I had sole custody of them after the split. I made the decisions about their education, activities, travel, child care, and allowances. When each one finished college, I said to my ex-husband, 'Here is the finished product. Now it's your turn.' "

05 of 10

Ivana Trump in The First Wives Club

Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler

After her divorce from Donald, Ivana became somewhat of a pop culture icon, famously appearing in the 1996 film The First Wives Club and delivering the memorable line: "Ladies, you have to be strong and independent, and remember ... don't get mad, get everything!"

06 of 10

Ivana Trump's Memoir

Ivana Trump Raising TrumpCredit: Gallery Books
Gallery Books

In 2017's Raising Trump, Ivana touched on the end of her marriage. In an interview with TIME, she said, "I think Donald probably felt a little bit jealous of my success. And I felt it. There was nothing really he could do. He saw how much profit I made, so he would never fire me from Atlantic City. He would never fire me from Plaza Hotel because I did such a great job. And maybe he resented it a little bit."

She continued, "I was too successful to be Mrs. Trump. In our marriage there couldn't be two stars. So one of us had to go."

07 of 10

Ivana Trump's Other Loves

Monaco Red Cross Ball
From left: Ivana Trump and Rossano Rubicondi in 2008.

Ivana married twice more after Donald, to Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli in 1995 (they divorced two years later) and to Italian model Rossano Rubicondi (pictured) in 2008. They divorced in 2009, though remained on-again, off-again in the years leading up to his 2021 death.

08 of 10

Ivana Trump on Dancing with the Stars

Ballando Con Le Stelle Tv Show - May 5, 2018
Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty

In 2018, Ivana performed on the Italian version of Dancing with the Stars — just seven months after mocking fellow ex-wife of Donald Trump, Marla Maples, for appearing on the American show.

09 of 10

Ivana Trump as a Grandmother


In her later years, Ivana was a doting grandmother to her children's children; all in all, she had 10 between Don Jr.'s five kids, Ivanka's three and Eric's two. However, in a 2011 chat with PEOPLE, she said, "Calling me Grandma is out of the question. It's Glam-ma!"

10 of 10

Ivana Trump's Final Years

Regine Mahaux/Getty

In that same 2011 PEOPLE interview, she opened up one of her homes and looked back on her full life.

"I love to be me," she said. "I have fabulous friends, a boyfriend. Life is beautiful."

Ivana died on July 14, 2022, at home in New York City. She was 73.

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