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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector: Ivana Trump

June 8th, 2010
12:33 PM ET

Ivana Trump, who was born Ivana Marie Zelníčková Winklmayr, is best known for her high-profile marriage to multi-millionaire developer and reality TV star, Donald Trump.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/08/ivana.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Ivana Trump is your Connector of the Day."]

Born in 1949 in a small town in Czechoslovakia, Ivana was an avid skier and was even selected to be an alternate for the Czech Olympic ski team.

As part of her involvement in the sport, Ivana was given the opportunity to travel outside of Czechoslovakia and the region, and in 1968 married her childhood friend, George Syrovatka.

Because Syrovatka was a Canadian citizen, Ivana moved to live in Montreal for several years and worked as a model for a number of different clothing companies.

However, after Ivana was given the opportunity to move to New York City to help promote the Montreal Olympics, she divorced Syrovatka.

Soon afterwards, Ivana met real estate tycoon, Donald Trump.

The couple married in 1977 at a lavish wedding ceremony and the pair soon became leading figures in New York high society.

Ivana and Donald Trump worked on a number of large projects together, including the Taj Mahal Casino and Trump Tower.

Soon, Ivana moved quickly up the ranks of the Trump organization and was appointed vice-president of interior design.

The pair had three children together over the course of their marriage, but the couple divorced in 1992.

Ivana married twice after - Riccardo Mazzucchelli from 1995 to 1997 and Rossano Rubicondi from 2008 to 2009.

Soon after her divorce with Donald, Ivana quickly turned her attention to the business world and developed a line of jewellery, clothing and beauty products.

Ivana has also written a number of best-selling books including "Free to Love" and the "Best is yet to come."

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Robert Rodriguez

    Hello Ivana,

    Do you consider the pinnacle of your career to be your involvement with the Taj Mahal Casino and Trump Tower projects? If so, was it hard to go forward from that position onto other smaller ventures?

    Bob Rodriguez
    Cozumel Island, Mexico
    Retired Merrill Lynch Commercial Real Estate

    June 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  2. Jurgen R. Brul

    How are you inspiring your children, Donald John Trump Jr, Ivanka Maria Trump and Eric F. Trump, to become Good Business people and Good Parents?

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    June 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  3. kerry

    hi Ivana, we were at the 40th birthday party for Naomi Campbell
    i was wondering what you thought of it! My financee had the long green dress on that was beatiful – We loved the party what did you think!

    June 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  4. Myer Berman

    Mrs Trump,

    Donald seems to be a very difficult person and are you pleased that you are out of his clutches.He also seems to dislike paying people.
    Dont you think he should change the colour of his hair?Is he really
    very wealthy after deducting his debt?

    Regards,

    Myer,Cape Town, South Africa.
    27 21 5586664.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  5. braden

    Ok, perhaps you can shed some light on this subject.

    WHAT is the deal w Trump's hair? Does he not realize how silly he looks??

    Regards,
    Boston, MA

    June 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  6. CY

    Hello Ivana,

    What is your advice with working with difficult people in both the work place and in personal relationships?

    I am anxious to read your best seller the "Best is yet to come." Best to you in all your endeavors!

    June 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  7. Aniket Venkatraman

    Why should one see you as a role model?

    June 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  8. CZ Citizen

    The upper level of the International Mafia is comprised mainly of Czechoslovak emigrants. Surely, you have some association, especially given your involvement in "high finance". What's your function?

    June 9, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  9. Birna Mar

    Hello Ivana,

    since you are in a good place to promote peace, would you share your thoughts and actions regarding the peace process in our world?

    Hope that things continue to go well for you 🙂

    Best regards
    Birna

    June 9, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  10. NICHOLAS TIFFIN

    How difficult is it for a strong, intelligent woman like you to deal with the "trophy wife" label? During your marriage to Mr. Trump did you feel pressured to downplay your abilities in order to avoid upstaging your husband, and do you feel you compromised your abilities for his sake?

    June 9, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  11. Margot

    Dear Ivana,
    You are truly an impressively, courageous woman of strength; as far as I am concerned, Donald has you to thank for many, many things. Starting with your amazing children, both you and Donald have done a great job in carving your childrens lives.
    My question to you: would you consider having your own "apprentice" like show to assist other women to become powerful and successful?. I run a grassroots charity http://www.cifkids.org I feel extremely passionate about what I do, but I need assistance in growing my charity because it is so personal to me. Someone like yourself could really be of assistance and I would cherish the opportunity of meeting you someday. I am doing a documentary on the subject matter "child rape myth" It is a falsehood that men who have been diagnosed with the HIV virus believe that if they sllep with a virgin they will be healed of the virus. This is truly creating an epidemic and tons of kids have become HIV positive because of this practice. I have personally been paying for this, it is taking much longer than I wanted it to because of funding. I know that someone like yourself could really do amazing things for these young children that need us to advocate and protect them. You can watch the trailer on UTUBE/MOHANOWE. The charity is Catherine's Inspiration for kids in Lafayette Hill, Pa, USA.
    Please visit my website http://www.cifkids.org and please share it with your daughter, she seems like an incredible young lady.
    Thanks for your time.

    June 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  12. Jerry

    What advice would you give to young people of today?

    June 9, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  13. Melissa

    What is the most important lesson you have learned over the course of your life?

    June 9, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  14. JoJo

    Hello Ivana,
    How would you describe your relationship with Donald at the moment? Do you get along with his current wife Melania? What is the best thing about being a grandmother?

    Thank you!

    June 9, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  15. Tiana

    As a young woman from at that time poor and isolated Czech Republic, how it was for you during those first years in the U.S. and the beginning of your marriage? How did you adapt, how did you overcome people's prejudices and learn the language and customs?
    I know you've always been proud of your roots and I admire you for being so unique in this world of business.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  16. Robert Forrest Johnson

    Dear Ivana,

    I too am borm in 1949 !

    I am Materially modest , happy , fit and healthy , and Spiritually rich .

    My Love , lasts a Life Time . For it comes truly from my heart !

    Would you meet Me , and share our hearts ?

    Robert ( Qualicum Beach , Canada )

    June 9, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  17. tim

    was it the hair-do that did it? probably the embarrassment finallly got to you?

    June 10, 2010 at 1:43 am | Reply
  18. Mary Moynihan

    Dear Ivanka,
    Having been involved in mulit-million (if not billion) dollar businesses and international companies what do you make of the current economic crisis? What do you think were our, the United States, failures and what are our successes? What do you take from the last 2 years; how have you managed your business since the "melt-down" and how do you plan to move forward?
    Regards,
    Mary
    American Citizen writing from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:20 am | Reply
  19. Ana Hernandez

    Hello,
    I would like to know how is your relationship to Mr. Trump today?
    And if you are doing any new project?

    Ana

    June 10, 2010 at 4:09 am | Reply
  20. Salay

    I wonder how many beauty operations you did sofar to look like that?

    June 10, 2010 at 4:32 am | Reply
  21. Tsering Sherpa

    Hello Miss,
    Your book "Best Is Yet To Come" What does it talk about. Cause we all know you already are rich and can have whatever you want. Does Best is yet to come has not come in your life. If not can you please tell what what kind of best things or other stuff that you are wanting. Thank You.
    Tsering Wangchuk Sherpa
    Student, Jacksonhole WY.

    June 10, 2010 at 4:51 am | Reply

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