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Ivana Trump
Ivana Trump.jpg
Ivana Trump in October 2007
Ivana Marie Zelníčková

February 20, 1949 (1949-02-20) (age 73)
Nationality Czech
Occupation Athlete, model, socialite
Years active 1970–present
Spouse(s) Alfred Winklmayr (1971–76)
Donald Trump (1977–92)
Riccardo Mazzucchelli (1995–97)
Rossano Rubicondi (2008–2009)
Children Donald Trump, Jr.
Ivanka Trump
Eric Trump
Parent(s) Milos Zelníček
Maria (née Francova)

Ivana Marie Trump (née Zelníčková born February 20, 1949) is a Czech-American businesswoman and former fashion model who was the first wife of Donald Trump from 1977 until 1992. They have three children together, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump.

Early life

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 a very young 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.


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 formally dissolved in August 1973.

In Canada she lived with her boyfriend whom she had been dating since 1967, who owned a ski boutique there. For the following two years, she lived in Montreal, improved her English by taking night courses, and worked as a model for some of Canada's top fur companies. Zelníčková left her boyfriend, and moved to New York City to promote the 1976 Summer Olympics that was being hosted in Montreal.

Donald and Ivana Trump
Ivana and Donald Trump, in November 1985

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.

The Trumps' divorce proceedings appeared on New York tabloid newspapers' covers for 11 days in a row. Their divorce, 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.


Ivana Trump and Lloyd Klein
Ivana Trump with the French fashion designer Lloyd Klein

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. In 2005, Trump was involved in several proposed condominium projects that ultimately failed, including the never-built Ivana Las Vegas, and the Bentley Bay in Miami, Florida.

In 2010, she sued a Finnish fashion company, accusing it of selling women's clothing that incorporates her name without permission.

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. 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 2017, she released an autobiography, Raising Trump, that covers her own upbringing and the early years of raising her children with Donald Trump.

Media appearances

She played a cameo role in the Hollywood film The First Wives Club (1996) with the line, "Ladies you have to be strong and independent. And remember: don't get mad, get everything."

She was the host of Oxygen Network's reality-dating program Ivana Young Man, which aired in 2006.

In 2008, she was a boardroom advisor on The Apprentice.

In 2010, Trump took part in the UK's Celebrity Big Brother, finishing seventh.

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