President Donald’s younger brother, Robert Trump, a businessman known for an even keel that seemed almost incompatible with the family name, died Saturday night at the age of 71.
The youngest of the Trump siblings had remained close to the 74-year-old president and, as recently as June, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Trump family that unsuccessfully sought to stop publication of a tell-all book by the president’s niece, Mary.
The president said in a statement on Saturday night, one day after visiting his brother in hospital in Manhattan: ‘It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight.
‘He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace.’
Robert, who took blood thinners, had suffered recent brain bleeds that began after a recent fall, according to a close friend of the family, who spoke to The New York Times.
Robert Trump died age 71 on Saturday night. Robert openly voiced his support for his brother over years. He is pictured hugging Donald after his presidential acceptance speech on Election Day 2016
In a rare but brief interview in December, Robert said his brother had been doing ‘fantastic’, when asked how the president was holding up during his impeachment trial. He is seen above in December 2019
Meet the Trumps: Donald, Fred Jr, Elizabeth, Maryanne and Robert, pictured from left to right in an old family photo. The president said in a statement on Saturday night, one day after visiting his brother in hospital in Manhattan: ‘He [Robert] was not just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace’
Robert Stewart Trump was born in 1948, the youngest of New York City real estate developer Fred Trump’s five children.
The president, more than two years older than Robert, admittedly bullied his brother in their younger years, even as he praised his loyalty and laid-back demeanor.
‘I think it must be hard to have me for a brother but he’s never said anything about it and we’re very close,’ Donald Trump wrote in his 1987 bestseller ‘The Art of the Deal.’
‘Robert gets along with almost everyone,’ he added, ‘which is great for me since I sometimes have to be the bad guy.’
Both longtime businessmen, Robert and Donald had strikingly different personalities.
Donald Trump once described his younger brother as ‘much quieter and easygoing than I am,’ and ‘the only guy in my life whom I ever call “honey.”‘
Robert began his career on Wall Street working in corporate finance but later joined the family business, managing real estate holdings as a top executive in the Trump Organization.
‘When he worked in the Trump Organization, he was known as the nice Trump,’ Gwenda Blair, a Trump family biographer said. ‘Robert was the one people would try to get to intervene if there was a problem.’
Donald Trump wrote in his 1987 bestseller ‘The Art of the Deal’: ‘I think it must be hard to have me for a brother but he’s never said anything about it and we’re very close. Robert gets along with almost everyone, which is great for me since I sometimes have to be the bad guy.’ Robert and Donald are pictured in 1999
Donald Trump once described his younger brother as ‘much quieter and easygoing than I am,’ and ‘the only guy in my life whom I ever call “honey.”‘ Robert is pictured right with sister Maryanne and brother Donald in 1990
In the 1980s, Donald Trump tapped Robert Trump to oversee an Atlantic City casino project, calling him the perfect fit for the job.
When it cannibalized his other casinos, though, ‘he pointed the finger of blame at Robert,’ said Blair, author of ‘The Trumps: Three Generations that Built an Empire.’
‘When the slot machines jammed the opening weekend at the Taj Mahal, he very specifically and furiously denounced Robert, and Robert walked out and never worked for his brother again,’ Blair said.
People who knew him said Robert was devastated by the fight with his brother, and the rift between them took years to heal, the New York Times said.
He reconciled with his brother when Donald decided to run for president, according to a person close to the family.
Robert is the youngest of the five Trump siblings born to Fred and Mary Anne MacLeod Trump. Pictured left to right: Donald, Fred Jr, Robert, Maryanne, and Elizabeth
Robert is pictured above with ex-wife Blaine (in green), Donald, parents Mary and Fred, and sister Maryanne in 1990 at the opening of the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City
Fred Trump and Robert Trump are pictured together in 1985 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City
Robert had remained close to the 74-year-old president and, as recently as June, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Trump family that unsuccessfully sought to stop publication of a tell-all book (right) by the president’s niece, Mary (left)
A Boston University graduate, Robert Trump later managed the Brooklyn portion of father Fred Trump’s real estate empire, which was eventually sold.
Once a regular boldface name in Manhattan’s social pages, Robert Trump had kept a lower profile in recent years. ‘He was not a newsmaker,’ Blair said.
He was married to socialite Blaine Trump for 25 years until their 2007 divorce and was active on Manhattan’s Upper East Side charity circuit.
The couple’s split was widely reported in the tabloids following reports that Robert had been living with his mistress – and now wife – for two years.
In early March of 2020, he married his longtime girlfriend, Ann Marie Pallan.
Despite their split, Robert was said to have remained on good terms with his ex-wife, who reportedly attended Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
In 2016 Robert told Page Six that he was ‘gainfully retired’.
Left to right: Blaine Trump, Robert Trump, Donald Trump and Ivana Trump are seen at the Pierre Hotel New York in 1987
Robert was married to socialite Blaine Trump (pictured together in 2005) for 25 years until their 2007 divorce. The couple’s split was widely reported in the tabloids following reports that Robert had been living with his mistress – and now wife – for two years
Robert and Blaine are pictured together at a Halloween fundraiser star Magic Johnson in 1993
He avoided the limelight during his elder brother’s presidency, having retired to the Hudson Valley. But he described himself as a big supporter of the White House run in a 2016 interview with the New York Post.
‘I support Donald one thousand percent,’ Robert Trump said.
He was later seen celebrating Donald’s victory at the New York Hilton where the then president-elect delivered his acceptance speech.
Robert also spoke out in support of his brother during a brief, but rare interview at LAX airport last December, when Trump had been at the center of an impeachment trial.
When asked how his older sibling was doing, he told the cameraman: ‘I think he’s doing fantastic’, before getting into the his car.
Robert Trump had no children, but he helped raise Christopher Hollister Trump-Retchin, the son of his first wife.
The eldest Trump sibling and Mary’s father, Fred Trump Jr., struggled with alcoholism and died in 1981 at the age of 43.
Robert married his former secretary Ann Marie Pallan (center) in March. The two were rumored to be having an affair while he was married to first wife Blaine
In June, Robert had filed a lawsuit against Mary, seeking to block her from publishing a tell-all book on the president.
Robert filed for an injunction claiming the explosive book, ‘Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man’, violated the terms of a confidentiality agreement she signed nearly two decades ago.
In a statement to The New York Times in June, he accused his niece of attempting to ‘sensationalize and mischaracterize’ their family relationship for her own financial gain.
‘I and the rest of my entire family are so proud of my wonderful brother, the president, and feel that Mary’s actions are truly a disgrace,’ Robert said.
The explosive memoir was eventually released last month after a judge agreed to lift a temporary restraining order preventing Mary from publicizing or distributing her work.
The judge said the confidentiality clauses in the 2001 agreement, ‘viewed in the context of the current Trump family circumstances in 2020, would offend public policy as a prior restraint on protected speech’.
Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg and businessman Robert Trump are pictured together in 1973 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City
Joan Rivers and Robert Trump attend American Ballet Theater (ABT) 65th Anniversary Spring Gala at Metropolitan Opera House on May 23, 2005 in New York City
The president’s surviving siblings include Elizabeth Trump Grau and Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired federal appeals judge.
Authors Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher described Robert Trump as soft spoken but cerebral in ‘Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President’: ‘He lacked Donald´s charismatic showmanship, and he was happy to leave the bravado to his brother, but he could show flashes of Trump temper.’
‘You could consider him the quietest of Trumps,’ said Michael D’Antonio, a Trump biographer.
‘He was glad to stay out of the spotlight.’
Jack O’Donnell, a former Trump Organization executive who worked closely with the Trump family, told the New York Times that Robert was someone with a natural ease and good humor that his older brother lacked.
‘He was dignified, he was quiet, he listened, he was good to work with,’ O’Donnell said.
‘He had zero sense of entitlement. Robert was very comfortable being Donald Trump’s brother and not being like him.’