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Ivana Trump was once the glamorous wife of real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Donald Trump - Trump Tower (1:32)
Donald Trump, celebrity entrepreneur, watched his Taj Mahal Casino lose revenue and saw the Trump Organization stare down bankruptcy while he was divorcing Ivana Trump.
This biography of Donald Trump focuses on his beloved Trump Tower building in New York City.
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Ivana Trump is a former model and wife of Donald Trump who was born in Gottwaldov (now Zlín), Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), in 1949. She and Trump were part of New York City's social elite during the 1980s. The two split in 1990 and Ivana won a $20 million divorce settlement. She later published The Best Is Yet to Come: Coping With Divorce and Enjoying Life Again. In it, she advised divorcees to "take his wallet to the cleaners."
Ivana Trump was born Ivana Marie Zelnícková on February 20, 1949, in Gottwaldov (now Zlín), Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). Her athletic talents emerged at an early age. Trump started skiing competitively at the age of six. At 12, she entered a national training program. During her teenage years, Trump competed in tournaments throughout Europe. In 1967, she became a student at Charles University in Prague. Trump continued to ski during college, becoming a member of her country's ski team for the 1972 Olympics.
Eventually immigrating to Canada, Trump spent some time working as a ski instructor before starting a modeling career in the 1970s. Her work eventually brought her to New York in 1976. During her time there, she met aspiring real estate mogul Donald Trump.
After a whirlwind courtship, Ivana married Donald Trump in 1977. The couple had three children together, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. She became a fixture in the elite New York social scene during the 1980s. 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. She held executive positions at the Plaza Hotel in New York and Trump's Castle Hotel and Casino for many years as well.
While clearly she was an asset to his business, Ivana had a stormy relationship with billionaire husband Donald Trump. Donald's high-profile political deal-making and enthusiastic self-promotion kept their marriage in the public eye. Ivana separated from her husband in 1990 amid rumors of his affair with Marla Maples. After lengthy divorce proceedings, Trump won a $20 million divorce settlement. This figure was remarkable because Donald's real estate empire was tottering on the edge of bankruptcy at the time.
After her divorce, Ivana began to reinvent herself. She wrote two novels, For Love Alone and Free to Love, in the early 1990s. Trump also shared her life experiences in the successful self-help book The Best Is Yet to Come: Coping With Divorce and Enjoying Life Again (1995). In her book, she advised women divorcees to "get yourself a great settlement—and before you do, take his wallet to the cleaners." That same year, Trump married wealthy Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli. The couple only lasted two years before separating in 1997.
In the late 1990s, Trump created her own fashion company, Ivana Haute Couture, that manufactured clothes, fragrances and jewelry.
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