From her early years spent confined inside the borders of a Soviet country to her current status as a jet-setting fashionista, Ivana's resilience has kept her going and has enabled her to live a fascinating life. Ivana has captivated the public for years, but it isn't just her good looks and her high-profile family that have kept society enthralled.
Here is how Ivana Trump overcame her humble origins and transformed into one of the most recognized women in the world. Ivana Trump is an international icon these days, noted for her glamour and elegance, but her origins were far more humble.
In 1947, Ivana Zelnickova was born in Gottwaldov, Czechoslovakia (now called Lin in what is the present-day Czech Republic) to an electrical engineer and a telephone operator. High school students were indoctrinated against Western capitalism and were required to work for the state for two weeks each year with no pay.
Many works from Western writers were banned from libraries, and only films approved by the government were allowed to be shown in theaters. Young people in particular wanted to experience the freedoms of the Western world, and Ivana was one of them.
While her future husband, Donald Trump, would later boast of his wife being an alternate for the Czech Olympic ski team, Ivana didn't want to stay here,” her mother, Marie Zelnickova, told Newsweek.
While still in Czechoslovakia, Ivana obtained a master's degree in physical education and began to model while completing her studies (via Cosmopolitan). When she arrived in Canada, Ivana worked as a ski instructor and continued to model.
In 1976, she met business mogul Donald Trump while in New York City for a fashion show. “ this tall blond guy with blue eyes,” Ivana told the New York Post.
Trump ended up charming the young model, buying dinner for Ivana and her friends and personally driving them home in his limo afterwards. Far from being a trophy wife, Ivana helped to build Donald Trump's business.
Ivana told the New York Post that Trump's faith in her proves how much respect he has for women. She added that she is grateful for the opportunities that marriage to Trump gave her, specifically those to develop her business skills.
I had a sense of style, so he put me in charge of interior design of the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Outraged by her husband's close association with Marla Maples (who would later become his second wife), Ivana headed to court.
As reported by The New York Times, a judge granted the divorce, citing “cruel and inhuman treatment by Mr. Trump.” Ivana originally demanded half of her husband's estimated $5 billion fortune, apparently unaware that he was near bankruptcy and living almost entirely on bank loans.
To supplement her income and cash in on the publicity surrounding their divorce, Ivana wrote a romance novel called For Love Alone, which had enough parallels to her own marriage that Trump threatened legal action over it (via the Los Angeles Times). In 1990, People reported that, after their separation was announced, the Trumps canceled an “unforgettable couple” ad with Revlon, and Vogue immediately booked a solo shoot with just Ivana.
Whether she received sympathy or not, Ivana knew that the held the public in the palm of her hand, and she used that to her advantage during the divorce proceedings and her life post- Trump. By the time of her divorce, Ivana had transformed from a doting wife into a force to be reckoned with.
Among her failed real estate ventures was Ivana Las Vegas, announced in 2005. The condominium tower would have been taller than Donald Trump's own condo project in the city, which broke ground that same year.
Throughout her bitter divorce and her business ventures, Ivana was a single mom raising three children. “We didn't have newspapers in the house for a significant period of time and the TV wasn't on when they weren't there,” Ivanka told People.
Still, the split had a lasting impact on the entire family, though their kids now enjoy a close relationship with their father and have become celebrities in their own right. I made the decisions about their education, activities, travel, child care, and allowances.
Her fourth marriage to Romano Rubicon was also short-lived (via the New York Daily News). With such a rocky love life, it would be understandable if she wanted to avoid romance altogether.
Donald Trump is still remembered for his reality show, The Apprentice, in which contestants vied for the opportunity to gain a job with the mogul. Ivana Trump has also dabbled in reality TV, competing on Celebrity Big Brother in 2010 and making a guest appearance on the Italian version of Dancing With the Stars in 2018 (via People).
Ivana also had her own reality TV show special in 2006 called IvanaYoung Man. On the show, Ivana played matchmaker, using her expertise and money to help a divorced millionaire mother of two find a younger man.
IvanaYoung Man puts the women in control of their relationships ... and they have a lot of fun doing it.” She wrote in Raising Trump (via Town & Country) that Donald had considered a presidential run in the 1990s, but was so reviled by the press after his affair with Marla Maples that it made one impossible.
Ivana has a vision how things would have turned out if Trump had ended up president while they were married. “I'd have whipped the White House staff into shape in ten days,” she wrote.
That same year, Ivana told CBS that she is also responsible for Trump's Twitter presence. She has completely transformed her life in ways that she could never have even dreamed about when she was living under Soviet rule, separated from the capitalist society of the Western world.
Her mother, Ivana Trump, is a Czech-American model who split with her husband when her daughter was 10 years old. Ivanka spent most of her childhood years in the city, though she also did a stint at a Connecticut boarding school, and then obtained a degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
From 2005 to 2017 she worked at The Trump Organization as an executive vice-president of Development & Acquisitions, spearheading major real-estate projects for the company. A 2010 “flashback” feature in the magazine included Ivanka in it, and there was one memorable line from that interview.
Referring to the possibility of a sleepover with Chelsea Clinton, she said, “I wouldn't mind having her over. According to Getty, Ivanka was 23 here when she attended a benefit for The New York Pops, an orchestra that specializes in popular music, at Carnegie Hall in 2005.
“Not sure which is better,” she wrote on Instagram when sharing the photo, “the overalls or my #Topknot!” This photo shows Ivana and Ivanka enjoying The Trump Rink in Central Park, according to Instagram.
Ivanka captioned this throwback Instagram photo, “Bringing on the teenage sass.” Ivanka performed in “The Nutcracker” at New York's Lincoln Center with the School of American Ballet.
It's impossible to know for sure from this photo, but it does look like she's playing Clara, the ballet's female lead. Ivanka was 22 here when she attended the 2004 Met Gala in New York City.
It's possible that she looks back longingly on the lower-stakes scrutiny of being a real estate mogul's daughter, as opposed to the scrutiny of being one of the top players in the United States government. Name Ivana Trump Birth Date February 20, 1949 (age 71) Place of Birth Gottwaldov (now Lin), Czech Republic Maiden Name Ivana Marie Zelnícková Full Name Ivana Marie Trump Zodiac Sign Pisces Ivana Trump is a former model who is best known as the first wife of real estate mogul Donald Trump.
She and Trump were part of New York City's social elite during the 1980s. During her teenage years, Ivana competed in tournaments throughout Europe.
Around this time, she married her first husband, Austrian skier Alfred Winklmayr. Eventually immigrating to Canada, Ivana spent some time working as a ski instructor before starting a modeling career in the 1970s.
During her time there, she met aspiring real estate mogul Trump. Ivana also worked within her husband's company, serving as an interior design consultant on several of his high-profile projects, including the Trump Tower in New York City and the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
Ivana and Donald Trump with two of their children, Eric and Ivanka Ivana separated from her husband in 1990 amid rumors of his affair with Marla Maples.
That same year, Ivana married wealthy Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli. She also started another company called Ivana Inc. to handle her public appearances and other media work, according to her official website.
Trump had a cameo in the 1996 comedy The First Wives Club, starring Goldie Dawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Miller. Ivana, 59, and Rubicon, 36, dated for six years before they married in a lavish ceremony at Donald Trump's Palm Beach, Florida, estate.
Ivana returned to reality television in 2010 as a competitor on England's Celebrity Big Brother. Two years later, Ivana helped promote the work of artist Giovanni Person.