Ivana Trump is the world’s most famous ex-wife, and matriarch of the Trump family. She came from the humblest of beginnings, and rose to unimaginable heights in New York society.
Ivana Trump’s parents lived in a factory house in the Soviet Russian era. The factory dominated the Czechoslovakian landscape. Her father was an electrical engineer and her mother a telephone operator. Ivana, ever eager to improve herself, earned a master’s degree in physical education.
Ivana married a ski instructor, so she could get an Austrian citizenship. The marriage barely lasted past Ivana gaining her passport. Ivana defected to Canada, and owned a boutique in Montreal, while working as a ski instructor.
Met The King Maker
Ivana met Donald Trump when she travelled to New York with a group of models. She had struggled her way up from humble beginnings, while Donald was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth.
Throughout the 1980s, Ivana and Donald were prominent and very public figures in New York society. Ivana always had the highest head of hair in the room. She thrived on attention.
Trump deliberately chose Ivana to work beside him, even though she challenged him. She was a charismatic and gregarious workaholic and an equal partner to Donald. He was merely a loudmouthed, russet-faced developer, without the slightest whiff of a future President.
Ivana Trump was married to the ‘king maker’ and a head strong business woman. She was a cornerstone in helping Donald build his empire. She called him ‘The Donald’.
Ivana Trump held several key managerial positions in the Trump Organization. She was vice president of interior design and CEO and president of Trump’s Castle casino resort, besides being the manager of the Plaza Hotel.
Ivana was instrumental in the design of the interiors of several of Donald’s projects, including Trump Tower, Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York and the Trump Taj Mahal Casino, not the Taj Mahal of India. Ivana Trump did not accept women’s limitations.
A protracted and public divorce ended the 15 year marriage, with a settlement of $14 million. That set a precedent for all ensuing divorce settlements.
Following the divorce, Ivana developed fashion jewellery, clothing and beauty products, which she sold on the Internet. She presided over the House of Ivana, a fragrance and fashion company, with a showroom on Park Avenue, New York.
For five years, Ivana Trump wrote an advice column about love and life, for the Globe tabloid. She published books of fiction, self-help, as well as an autobiography. In 1998, Ivana purchased 33% or Croatia’s second largest daily newspaper. In 1999, Ivana launched a lifestyle magazine and contributed to an advice column for Divorce Magazine.
Ivana was married four times, Donald her second marriage. Her fourth wedding to an international entrepreneur cost $3 million. Donald hosted it at Mara-a-Lago.
Ivana was a bride with a unique voice. She never lost her identity as “The First Trump Wife”. The one who was always the most authentic and the best.
In 2017, President Trump offered Ivana the position of ambassador to the Czech republic, but she turned it down. “Why would I give up the freedom of my current lifestyle and become public property? I have a perfect life.”
Ivana Trump was fluent in German, French, Czech, and Russian. She is described as a person who always had her own perspective and did her own thing. Ivana was spunky and courageous enough to hold to it. Even the powerful father-in-law, Fred Trump, could not tell her what to do.
Close Knit Family
The family were close, Ivana and Donald remaining friends. Ivana’s life was a statement from the beginning to the end. She was a force to be reckoned with, climbing from immigrant to society Belle. Her wit, talent, and drive ensured her success. The wickedly funny and brilliant woman was a survivor, par excellence. She was an institution.
Ivana died at her home from an accidental fall, aged 73. Her voice will never be forgotten.
Few women become will well-known, like Ivana Trump. The vast majority go unnamed and unsung. Hidden in obscurity. They are the glue that binds society together. Every woman has a voice that deserves to be highly valued in her sphere of influence.
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