For all the attention she received after marrying then-President Trump in the late 1970s, Ivana was so much more than just Mrs. Trump: an accomplished entrepreneur, athlete, writer, fashion and jewelry designer with many talents—but most of all she was the most devoted mother anybody could ask for.
She was the sole child of a telephone operator named Marie and an engineer named Milos, both of whom died in 1990 in Zlin, an industrial town in Communist Czechoslovakia. When Ivana was a child, she was a part of the national ski team, which provided her with a metaphor for her entire life.
At 80 mph, “you can’t count on Mama or Papa,” she said in an interview with PEOPLE earlier this year. “Ivana is the one person you can rely on.”
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Ivana married Austrian skier Alfred Winklmayr after graduating from Charles University in Prague with a master’s degree in physical education in order to obtain a Western passport, as previously reported by PEOPLE.
In the two years that followed their breakup, Ivana lived in Montreal and worked as a model. In 1976, while working on a project in New York City for her modeling career, she met Donald. They married nine months later and had three children together: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, the eldest of whom is now the president of the United States.
According to PEOPLE in 2016: “My mother is my inspiration.” Ivanka also has three children. “She was an inspiration to all of us. Even if we were her number one priority, this did not entitle us to her full attention all the time.”
With her husband, Donald, Ivana served as CEO of Trump’s Castle in Atlantic City while they were married. “Ivana is a superb manager,” Trump said in his new book, Trump: The Art of the Deal. He described her as “demanding and very competitive.”
When it comes to running a casino, he noted, “strong management abilities are just as crucial as specific gaming competence.” “She demonstrated that I was right.”
According to Town & Country, she was the first woman to assume the position of president of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan in 1988, and she also designed the interiors of the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Trump Tower.
Her first serious relationship came just a few months after she and The Apprentice’s Riccardo Mazzucchelli separated. Despite the fact that he signed a prenuptial agreement prior to their 1995 wedding, the marriage fell apart 20 months later.
Rossano Rubicondi, an Italian actor, became Ivana’s second husband in April 2008, after six years of courting.
PEOPLE spoke with Rubicondi before their wedding, and he said, “It’s going to be an amazing day.” “I can’t wait to get married to Ivana. The fact that she is older does not concern me. She is everything a lady should be, in my opinion. She is an athlete, a smart, gorgeous, humorous, and savvy entrepreneur, all at the same time.. We enjoy one other’s company greatly.”
Ivana served as his caretaker for the last year of his life, even though they divorced less than a year after their wedding in Palm Beach, Florida. He died at the age of 49 in 2021.
Despite the fact that Ivana’s romantic life was frequently the subject of headlines and articles in the tabloids, the mother of three has worked tirelessly over the years to advance her career. She has written a number of books, some of which include Raising Trump, Free to Love, and The Best Is Yet to Come: Coping with Divorce and Enjoying Life Again.
She also started her own lifestyle magazine called Ivana’s Living in Style, and she wrote a column for Globe called “Ask Ivana” from 1995 to 2010.
In an interview with PEOPLE in 2011, she said, “I love to be me.” “I am fortunate to have wonderful friends and a lover. There is beauty in life.”
Ivana was a well-known fashion and jewelry designer in addition to her career as a writer. Her House of Ivana products, which included fragrances, were sold on QVC London and the Home Shopping Network (HSN), and she made “tens of millions” of dollars from them, according to what she wrote in her memoir, Raising Trump, which was published in 2017.
Not only did Ivana have a dominant interest in the home-shopping industry, but she was also an obsessive fashion aficionado. Over the course of the past several decades, she has attended a multitude of catwalk shows and other glitzy events.
“She was a huge shopper. At the height of the 1980s, she was a stunningly beautiful woman of 33 years of age “according to Women’s Wear Daily comments made by a close friend and designer Dennis Basso.
Being a devoted mother has always been one of Ivana’s greatest successes, despite the fact that she has carved out her own successful work path over the course of her life.
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She said in her memoir that “it wasn’t easy to raise three kids as a full-time working mother, even with nannies,” referring to the challenges she faced while doing so. “I made it a point to sit down with my kids for breakfast every single day, regardless of how hectic my schedule was. I ate supper with them every night and assisted them with their assignments (algebra was one of my favorite subjects), and then I went to a charity event dressed in a Versace gown for rubber chickens. The kids and I commiserated, traveled, and rejoiced together throughout this time. Our commitment to one another was and still is our most prized property.”
Ivana never stopped seeing the world, even in her later years, and she made stops in a wide variety of countries and cities across the globe, including St. Tropez, which was one of her favorite places to visit repeatedly.