Ivana Trump (born February 20, 1949) is a former New York fashion
model who became famous after marrying and divorcing
Ivana Trump was born Ivana Marie Zelničkova Winkmayr in Gottwaldov (Zlín), Czech Republic.
Born under a Communist regime a young Ivana realised the value of effort
at a young age as she worked hard in her academic and athletic pursuits. In
1968 she was selected as an alternate on the 1968 Czechoslovakian Olympic
Ski Team which allowed her several opportunites to travel outside of the
Communist Block. Mindful of the grief she would cause her own family if she
defected Ivana married and divorced a childhood sweetheart in order to
attain a foreign passport.
In the early 1970s she earned a master's degree in physical education from Charles University of Prague. With her advanced education and passport in hand Ivana left eastern Europe for Canada in 1975.
For the next two years she lived in Montreal, working as a model for some of Canada's top fur companies. She was well known and well liked for her professionalism and her beauty. It surprised few when she jumped at the chance to move to New York to promote the Montreal Olympics in 1976. It was while in New York that she met Donald Trump, the son of prominant real estate developer Fred Trump.
In 1977 she married Trump, taking his name and all that came with it. Together, the Trumps became a force in New York high society. With their "Can Do" attitude that epitomised the 1980s they set to work on several massive projects, including the construction of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey and the Trump Tower along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Througout the decade they expanded their family with the additions of three children: Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric.
In addition to a busy family life Ivana Trump took a major role in the Trump Organization. She became the Vice President of Interior Design for the company, spearheading the design of Trump Tower which was a tremendous success. Soon after, her own husband recruited her to be the President of the Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino, under her leadership the casino became the most profitable one in Atlantic City, putting Mrs. Trump herself on the business map. In the late 1980s Ivana decided to leave Atlantic City in order to devote more time to her family. However, Donald, having recently bought the landmark Plaza Hotel, requested Ivana to oversee its restoration. She did one better, becoming the President of the hotel, her time at the Plaza would be the zenith of her work in the hotel industry; she was named Hotelier of the Year in 1990.
Towards the end of that year rumours swirled that Donald was having an affair with a former beauty queen from Georgia, Marla Maples. During Christmastime while the family was on holiday in Aspen, Colorado, Ivana discovered her husband's other woman and had a messy confrontation with her on the ski slopes. In 1991, the war of the Trumps began. Ivana retained reknowned entertainment attorney Neil Papiano and filed for divorce, seeking a greater amount of the family fortune than had been set out in her prenuptial agreement. Donald fought back in court, protesting Ivana's claims that she had contributed to the Trump Organization.
After many bitter miles of gossip columns Ivana was shocked when her father died of a massive heart attack. Hoping to mend fences Donald stood by her side at the funeral, the slate was wiped clean in the Trump marriage and their divorce was settled soon after.
Although the settlement remains sealed by the courts it is rumoured that Ivana received twenty million dollars, the family estate in Connecticut, a five million dollar housing allowance, all of her jewelry and partial use of Mar-a-Lago, the family home in Palm Beach which also serves as a private club for the Palm Beach elite.
For all of her success however, Ivana Trump has never been a woman to rest on her laurels. Soon after her divorce she signed on with the prestigious William Morris Talent Agency and developed lines of clothing, fashion jewelry and beauty products that have been sold through television shopping channels, all massive successes. She has also writter several books including the bestselling novels For Love Alone and Free to Love as well as the bestselling self help books The Best is Yet to Come: Coping with Divorce and Enjoying Life Again. She played a cameo role in the Hollywood film The First Wives Club with the memorable line: "Remember girls, don't get mad, get everything."
Since the late 1990s her companion has been Italian model Rossano Rubicondi, who is several decades younger than Ivana Trump.
A woman in perpetual motion, Ivana Trump lives between New York City, London, Palm Beach and St. Tropez.
This Ivana Trump Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub