|Born||Ivana Marie Zelníčková
February 20, 1949
Zlín, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
(present day Czech Republic)
|Alma mater||Charles University|
Ivana Marie Trump (née Zelníčková; Czech: [ˈzɛlɲiːtʃkovaː]; born February 20, 1949) is a Czech-American businesswoman and former fashion model who was the first wife of U.S. president Donald Trump from 1977 until 1992. They have three children together, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump.
Ivana Zelníčková was born on February 20, 1949 in the Moravian town of Zlín (formerly known as Gottwaldov), Czechoslovakia, the daughter of Miloš Zelníček, who was Czech, and Marie Francová, who was Austrian. From the age of 13, her father nurtured and encouraged her skiing talent. In the early 1970s, she attended Charles University in Prague.
According to Zelníčková, she was selected as an alternate on the Czechoslovak ski team during the 1972 Winter Olympics, her specialties being the downhill and slalom. However, in 1989, Petr Pomezný, Secretary General of the Czechoslovak Olympic Committee, said, "Who is this Ivana woman, and why do people keep calling us about her? We have searched so many times and have consulted many, many people, and there is no such girl in our records."
In November 1971, 22-year old Zelníčková married 25-year-old Austrian real estate agent Alfred Winklmayr to enable her to leave Communist Czechoslovakia. Ivana received her Austrian passport in March 1972 and left for Canada in September 1972. The ‘cold war’ marriage was not consummated and formally dissolved after a mandatory cooling-off period in August 1973.[clarification needed] In Canada she lived with her boyfriend whom she had been dating since 1967, George Syrovatka, who owned a ski boutique there. For the following two years, she lived in Montreal, improved her English by taking night courses at McGill University, and worked as a model for some of Canada's top fur companies. Zelníčková then left her boyfriend, George Syrovatka, and moved to New York City to promote the 1976 Summer Olympics that was being hosted in Montreal.
In 1976, Zelníčková met Donald Trump in New York City. On April 7, 1977, they married in a lavish wedding officiated by Norman Vincent Peale. Donald and Ivana Trump became leading figures in New York society during the 1980s. They worked on several large projects, including the renovation of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, construction of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
They had three children: Donald Trump Jr. (born December 31, 1977), Ivanka Trump (born October 30, 1981), and Eric Trump (born January 6, 1984). Donald Jr. learned to speak fluent Czech (with help of his maternal grandfather), while daughter Ivanka has only basic understanding of her mother's native tongue and Eric was not exposed to the language because at the time of his birth his grandparents were already comfortable enough in using English. Ivana has nine grandchildren.
Ivana took a major role in The Trump Organization. She became the Vice President of Interior Design for the company, leading the signature design of Trump Tower. Afterwards, her then-husband appointed her to head up the Trump Castle Hotel and Casino as president. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1988.
In October 1990, Ivana Trump's 63-year-old father died suddenly from a heart attack. Ivana stood side-by-side with her husband Donald at the funeral in Prague. That Christmas, when the family was on vacation in Aspen, Colorado, Ivana Trump encountered Marla Maples on the ski slopes.
The Trumps' divorce proceedings appeared on New York tabloid newspapers' covers for 11 days in a row, and Liz Smith wrote about nothing else for three months. Their divorce, in a deposition for which she accused him of rape and of pulling out handfuls of her hair, was settled in 1991. A condition of settlement was that she not talk about their marriage without his permission. The divorce was finalized in 1992.
In 1995, she married Riccardo Mazzucchelli. She filed a $15 million breach of contract suit against Mazzucchelli for violating the confidentiality clause in their prenuptial agreement. In 1997, Mazzucchelli sued Ivana and Donald for libel.
In the summer of 1997, she began dating Roffredo Gaetani; that continued until his death in 2005.
In April 2008, Ivana, then 59, married Rossano Rubicondi, then 36. The $3 million wedding for 400 guests was hosted by ex-husband Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Daughter Ivanka Trump was her maid of honor. On December 1, 2008, Ivana confirmed to the Associated Press that she had filed a legal separation agreement three months previously; she has stated in interviews that she and her husband have an on-again/off-again relationship. In December 2009, she said she had filed for divorce from Rubicondi; the couple has continued to be seen together as recently as May 5, 2018.
Soon after her divorce from Donald Trump in 1992, she developed lines of clothing, fashion jewelry and beauty products that have been sold through television shopping channels.
She has written several novels, including, For Love Alone (1992), Free to Love (1993) and a self-help book called, The Best is Yet to Come: Coping with Divorce and Enjoying Life Again (1995).
In June 1995, she began writing an advice column for Globe, titled Ask Ivana, about love and life. In 1998, she bought 33% of Croatia's second-largest daily newspaper - with a circulation of 100,000 - she used to travel with her parents from the Czech Republic to Croatia on vacation. In February 1999, she launched her own lifestyle magazine titled Ivana's Living in Style. In 2001, she contributed an advice column for Divorce magazine. In January 2010, Trump ended her advice column in Globe to pursue other business interests.
In 2008, she was a boardroom advisor on The Apprentice.
Dear Readers: After years of hard work and devoted service as GLOBE's advice columnist, I regretfully have decided to resign from the position. While I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the GLOBE family, as well as the many friendships that I have developed over the years, other business pursuits, both nationally and internationally, will not allow me to devote the attention necessary to the column and to my readers.
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