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There is more than meets the eye with Ivanka Trump. Growing up in the glare of the media and the overshadowing presence of her larger-than-life billionaire father, she has become a successful business woman, wife, mother, and has the ear of the President of the United States. This is definitely a woman on the move and one to keep your eye on. Read on and see how this fascinating woman has grown into a force to be reckoned with.
Ivanka Trump was born on October 30, 1981, in Manhattan, New York City. She is the second child of Donald John Trump and his first wife, Ivana Marie Trump (née Zelníčková). Born and raised in communist Czechoslovakia, Ivana immigrated to Canada in her younger years where she had a successful modeling career before moving to the United States. She had a brief marriage with an Austrian skier, Alfred Winklmayer, and had already divorced by the time she met Donald Trump. The couple had three children: Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. From her father’s two other marriages, Ivanka has a half-sister, Tiffany, and a half-brother, Barron.
As parents, Donald and Ivana Trump were described as very much alike. Both were involved in business and had busy schedules. Ivanka and her brothers spent a lot of time in the company of their nannies, maids, cooks, and bodyguards. They also attended regular events where they were followed by paparazzi flashes. Although Ivanka’s mother worked a lot, she was much more present in her children’s lives than their father. Donald and Ivana were known for being extremely determined and laser-focused, qualities which Ivanka is said to have inherited.
According to Donald Trump himself, Ivanka and her brothers spent time with their father mainly at his office, playing with their toys while he would work. Ivana Trump confessed that her husband was very affectionate with his children but also clueless about how to handle them. The children grew with confidence in their father’s affection, but they were also very aware that his priorities laid elsewhere.
By 1991, when Ivanka was only ten years old, her parents’ relationship had deteriorated severely. The publicity surrounding the dissolution of their marriage and the subsequent divorce provoked a lot of turmoil in her otherwise happy life. The tabloids' coverage of the scandal became so intrusive that Ivanka would often cry at school. The difficulties faced at such an early age surprisingly turned Ivanka into a very responsible teenager and adult, according to close friends.
Ivanka Trump attended the Chapin School in Manhattan, but she never enjoyed boarding school life, which she found dull, limiting, like a “prison.” At fifteen, she enrolled at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. After graduation, she continued her studies at Georgetown University where she remained for the next two years. She transferred afterward to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where her father had studied as well. In 2004, Ivanka graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
My father taught my siblings and me the importance of positive values and a strong ethical compass. He showed us how to be resilient, how to deal with challenges, and how to strive for excellence in all that we do. He taught us that there's nothing that we cannot accomplish if we marry vision and passion with an enduring work ethic. -
Ivanka Trump started her career at Forest City Enterprises, where she worked for a short period before joining the family business. At age 24, she became Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions at The Trump Organization. There, she was in charge of dozens of big projects where millions of dollars were at stake. She successfully negotiated many prime deals, which gave her the confidence to launch her own business.
In 2007, Ivanka released a diamond and gold jewelry collection, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, in partnership with a large diamond vendor. She opened her first retail store in Manhattan but preferring a better, more impressive space for her store, she moved it to the Soho district. By 2016, the brand became available at numerous fine jewelry stores, both locally and internationally, in countries such as Canada, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Ivanka Trump expanded her business to cover fashion as well. She created her own fashion line of clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories. Her brand is available in all major department stores in the U.S. but it has been repeatedly criticized for copying designs from other popular designers. Moreover, some department stores dropped Trump’s fashion line stating its poor performance on the market.
Modeling and Media
While still at boarding school, Ivanka Trump became involved in modeling, working solely on weekends and holidays. Besides doing advertisements for the most popular fashion brands in the world, she also walked fashion runways. After starting her professional career at the Trump Organization and launching her own jewelry and fashion lines, she continued to appear in advertisements. However, she concentrated exclusively on promoting the Trump Organization and her own business. Trump also received extensive coverage on women’s and special interest publications over the years. She was featured on the cover of Forbes Life, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and many others.
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In 2006, Ivanka Trump became involved in her father’s TV program The Apprentice, which had already reached the fifth season. She filled in for primary boardroom judge Carolyn Kepcher on five episodes and during the sixth season, Trump officially took Kepcher’s position. She continued with the same role in the follow-up version of the show, The Celebrity Apprentice.
Ivanka Trump made many appearances on television, besides her contribution to her father’s TV show. In 1997, when Donald Trump was still one of the major owners of the Miss USA beauty pageants, Ivanka was chosen as the co-host of the Miss Teen USA Pageant. In 2003, Trump talked about her experience of growing up in a wealthy and affluent family in the documentary Born Rich. "No matter what I hear about my parents, about my family, no matter what I read, the fact is that I'm absolutely proud to be a Trump," she said. "For a while I was worried that for my whole life I'd sort of be under my parents' shadow, but it's not a bad shadow to be under. "The most surprising TV appearance of Ivanka Trump was her brief portrayal of herself in an episode of the TV series Gossip Girl, where she appeared with her husband.
Ivanka Trump is also an accomplished author. In 2009, she published her first self-help book, The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life. A second self-help book, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, was published in May 2017. For both books, Ivanka Trump used the services of a ghostwriter.
Starting with 2015, Ivanka Trump got actively involved in her father’s political career. She made many public appearances to support and defend him, even though she admitted that her father’ presidential ambitions were causing her mixed feelings. During the campaign, she spoke often to the media, praising her father. At the 2016 Republican National Convention, Ivanka Trump gave an introductory speech which was very well-received. She was given credit for managing to portray Donald Trump in a warm light. After the election, Ivanka became her father’s leading advisor on women’s health and women issues.
Ivanka Trump was heavily criticized for using photos of her official appearances with the President to grow her business brand. A dress and a bracelet that Trump wore during official meetings were later advertised in her company’s newsletter. The marketing department of the company quickly apologized, but the issue remained open to controversy.
Soon after the presidential election, Ivanka Trump left her post at the Trump Organization and moved to the White House. She soon assumed the responsibilities of the First Lady while the actual First Lady Melania Trump stayed in New York City so her son could complete the school year. During the first two months of the Trump administration, Ivanka Trump naturally progressed to the position of advisor. She was officially appointed Advisor to the President on March 29, 2017, becoming thus a government employee, yet with no salary. Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, also became a crucial member of the Trump administration. He is currently Senior Advisor to the President. Unofficially, Ivanka Trump also assumed the task of defending her father and his administration in the media, whenever a new allegation would arise.
In April 2017, Ivanka Trump and her chief of staff Julie Radford traveled to the first W20 women’s summit, organized in Germany. Trump gave a speech about women’s rights at the conference but was booed by the audience when she started to talk about her father as an advocate for women’s rights.
Ivanka Trump’s first serious relationship developed in college, when she met Greg Hersch, a successful investment banker. The relationship lasted for nearly four years before coming to an abrupt end. In 2001, she started to date James Gubelmann, but they separated in 2005. Soon after the separation, Ivanka Trump entered a relationship with real estate developer Jared Kushner. They were introduced by mutual friends and soon became very close. Kushner’s parents disagreed with their relationship, which caused a brief separation between them in 2008. Despite the objections, Ivanka and Jared got back together and married in a Jewish ceremony on October 25, 2009. They have a daughter and two sons.
Ivanka Trump has a close relationship with her father. They both publicly expressed their admiration for each other. She is a close friend of Paris Hilton, Chelsea Clinton (daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton), and Georgina Bloomberg (daughter of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg).
Although raised as a Presbyterian Christian, Ivanka Trump converted to Orthodox Judaism in 2009, taking the Hebrew name “Yael”. She keeps the kosher diet and respects the Jewish Sabbath.
- Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher. Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President Kindle Edition. Scribner Publishing, 2016
- 8 Things You Should Know About Ivanka Trump. December 9, 2016. Cosmopolitan. Accessed December 29, 2017
- Donald Trump's brilliant daughter Ivanka is a businesswoman and mom. September 26, 2015. Business Insider. Accessed December 28, 2017
- Ivanka Trump on how she feels about her dad's run: It's complicated. October 14, 2015. Politico. Accessed December 29, 2017
- Ivanka for Real. September 7, 2016. The Huffington Post. Accessed December 28, 2017
- The woman Trump cherishes most is daughter Ivanka. August 18, 2015. The Detroit News. Accessed December 28, 2017.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.