Ivana Trump’s life before her death was certainly interesting. She was the first wife of former President Donald Trump and the mother of his three eldest children: Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. And while she may not have been as prominent in her husband’s life as she was during their marriage, she certainly kept her name in the headlines for one reason or another. In 2017, Donald’s wife, Melania Trump, had to respond to Ivana calling herself “First Lady,” even though the title belonged to the Slovenian-born Mrs. Trump.
Ivana told ABC News that same year, “I have the direct number to the White House, but I don’t really want to call him there because Melania is there, and I don’t really want to stir up any kind of jealousy or anything because I am.” basically Trump’s first wife, okay? I’m the first lady, okay?” This forced Melania’s communications director to fire back: “There’s clearly no substance to that statement from an ex, unfortunately this is just attention-grabbing and self-serving noise,” per CNN.
Regardless of what First Lady Ivana was (or wasn’t), there was no denying that many people followed her every step before and after her marriage to Donald. In fact, many people wonder what Ivana did for a living before she also met her famous second husband.
Ivana Trump worked as a model and ski instructor
Before becoming the first Mrs. Trump, Ivana Trump (née Zelnickova) was a model and competitive skier. She modeled in her native Czechoslovakia before moving to Austria to marry her first husband, Alfred Winklmayr. According to News.com.au, Ivana married Alfred, a ski instructor, just so she could obtain Austrian citizenship at the time. Ivana divorced him a year later and emigrated to Canada, where she worked as a ski instructor. Although initially based in Toronto, Ivana eventually made her way to Montreal, where she modeled and skied for a number of years. However, Ivana did not want to pursue modeling long-term. She reportedly told the Montreal Gazette in 1975 (via CBC), “For me, modeling is a job, not a career.” She also recalled her Canadian life and workdays in 1993: “It was really work, work, and work — some fun and lots of skiing.”
Interestingly, Ivana also met her future second husband Donald Trump while she was in Montreal.
Ivana Trump reportedly met Donald Trump at a party in Montreal
According to The New York Times, Ivana Trump first saw businessman and future President Donald Trump in 1979 at a party in Montreal. However, the New York Daily News suggests that their first meeting was at a reception for Olympic athletes in 1976, although this version has never been confirmed either. Apparently, Donald was smitten with the Czech beauty from the start. The two spent their dating years traveling back and forth from Montreal to New York City before finally wed in 1977. He told The New York Times that year, he said, “My wife was the #1 model in Montreal for eight years.”
However, there’s no denying that Donald has always had a thing for blondes and maybe even Eastern European models, as he married both Marla Maples and Melania Trump after his divorce from Ivana in 1992. Despite their ups and downs, Donald and Ivana have remained so friendly that the former president even offered his ex-wife a job as American ambassador to the Czech Republic in 2017. However, Ivana turned down the offer. She told CBS Sunday Morning: “I like my freedom. I like doing what I want to do, go where I want, whoever I want to go with. And I can afford my lifestyle.” And she did have a great lifestyle.