Home >Magazine >Goodbye to Ivana Trump: The Complicated, Glamorous, Over-the-Top First Wife

Goodbye to Ivana Trump: The Complicated, Glamorous, Over-the-Top First Wife

Ivana Trump who once said, “Donald calls me his twin as a woman," is found dead at age 73.

“Ladies, you have to be strong and independent,” Ivana Trump declared in a cheeky cameo in the 1996 film The First Wives Club.

“I will not let men dominate me anymore,” Ivana Trump told Oprah Winfrey after her divorce in the early 90s.

It’s rich, coming from the ex-wife of the man who would pave the way for this current retro moment, when men on the Supreme Court made it OK for male politicians to dominate women and their bodies.

Don’t get mad. Get everything.

But such feminist sentiments will never be associated with Ivana Trump. What will be remembered most are her blond upswept hair, an overly ornate (an alliterative way of saying gaudy) interior design sensibility, big jewelry, and most of all, photo after photo of her posing next to her husband through the 80s, projecting the same I’ll-eat-you-for-lunch face as the future president.

Her end was sad; reportedly she was found at the bottom of a flight of stairs in the Manhattan townhouse. Authorities are investigating whether the death was accidental. We offer condolences to all who loved her.

Read More: Ivana, Ivanka, Melania: What They Tell Us About Women, Power, and the White House

The First Wife

Before and after the divorce, she liked to tout her business prowess. From all reports, she ran a tight ship when she oversaw the Plaza Hotel. In 1988, she told Vanity Fair that “Donald calls me his twin as a woman.” Something that, these days, no woman should brag about.

After the divorce, Trump launched several business ventures, including a line of clothing and beauty products, penned a long-running advice column called “Ask Ivana” and published several books, including her 2017 autobiography, Raising Trump.

Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely.

But the former couple remained close, according to reports, even though in the First Wives Club, she gives this advice to the other characters: “Don’t get mad. Get everything.” Even though in their divorce proceedings, she accused her husband of rape (which she disavowed when it came to light later during his political career).

A source close to the family told The New York Post that she called Donald Trump all the time during his presidency to give him advice. She claims to have turned down the president’s offer to be an ambassador to her home country, the Czech Republic, saying she preferred her freedom. “I would hate Washington,” she said in 2017, adding she didn’t envy Melania Trump’s role as first lady.

“Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely. Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without teleprompter? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I would not really like to be there,” she said.

According to the New York Post, former Vanity Fair columnist and close friend George Wayne characterized her as “really quite the recluse.” He reported that she became more withdrawn during the Trump presidency.

All we can say is, wouldn’t you?

Read More: Racism, Sexism, and Bullying: What Barbara Res Saw Over 18 Years Working for Trump

By NextTribe Editors


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