Former model, businesswoman and ex-wife of Donald Trump, Ivana Trump, has died overnight, aged 73.
Investigators say the cause of death was a heart attack, and that it happened as Ivana was on her staircase at her New York City home.
Ivana lived quite the chequered life. She was born Ivana Zelníčková in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) in 1949, the daughter of an electrical engineer (father) and telephone operator (mother); attended university in Prague to earn a master’s degree in physical education, but then turned her hand to children’s television.
Soon, Ivana would go on to a more luxurious life than any her family could afford. After moving to Canada in 1971, she married Alfred Winklmayr – an Austrian ski instructor, sticking with him until 1973. Then, in 1976, in the midst of her modelling career, she met Donald Trump and married the business tycoon a year later.
The Trumps quickly became media staples, showing off their lavish lives to the world. They became regular headliners in newspapers during the 1980s and worked together on several large (and dodgy) business projects, including the construction of Trump Tower and the renovation of the Grand Hyatt in New York City. They also built and then brought its business to the ground, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.
Despite first being seen as some kind of ‘trophy wife’ to Donald Trump, Ivana was a shrewd businesswoman. After her divorce from Donald, she went on to launch her own lines of beauty products, clothing and jewellery, sell-sell-selling anything she could have shipped cross-country.
Ivana is survived by her three children, who said in a statement today that she was “a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty, and caring mother and friend”.