Ivana Trump, the first wife of Donald Trump and the mother of his three children, has died at the age of 73.
“She was an amazing, beautiful, amazing woman who led a great and inspiring life,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social network.
Mrs. Trump, who was born in what is now the Czech Republic, married the former president in 1977. They divorced 15 years later in 1992.
They had three children together – Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump.
According to the AP, police believe that the cause of death may be accidental.
Sources told the news agency that Mrs Trump was found unconscious near a staircase in her New York home and it is believed she may have fallen.
Donald and Ivana Trump were prominent public figures in New York in the 1980s and 1990s, and their separation was the subject of intense public interest.
Ivana Trump, Donald Trump’s first wife, dies
After their separation, Mrs. Trump launched her own lines of beauty products, clothing and jewelry.
She took credit for raising their children in her 2017 memoir, Raising Trump, saying she “made decisions about their education, activities, travel, childcare and allowances” until college.
In the book, she added that her relationship with Mr Trump had improved since their divorce and said she spoke to him about once a week.
In a statement, Trump’s family praised her as “a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty, and a caring mother and friend.”
“Ivana Trump is a survivor. She ran from communism and embraced this country,” the statement added. “She taught her children about bravery and toughness, compassion and determination.”
Eldest child Ivanka, who was said to be very close to her mother, said in a post on Instagram that she was “heartbroken”.
“Mum was brilliant, charming, passionate and wickedly funny. In everything she did she modeled strength, tenacity and determination. She lived life to the fullest – never missing an opportunity to laugh and dance,” she wrote.
Mr. Trump was Ivana’s second husband. Her first, Alfred Winklmayr, was an Austrian ski instructor and boyfriend whom she allegedly married to gain Austrian citizenship.
This marriage allowed her to leave her communist home country – then Czechoslovakia – without defecting.
A longtime skier, Trump is said to have skied competitively in the country.
But Mr Trump’s claim that she was an alternate on the 1972 Winter Olympics team was refuted in 1989 by a local Olympic official.
While living in Canada in the 1970s, she worked as a ski instructor and model.
On a business trip to New York in 1976, she met Mr. Trump with a group of models. They married the following year and quickly became part of the tabloid press.
During their marriage, Mrs. Trump held several roles in the Trump Organization, including manager of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
But Mr Trump allegedly locked her out of her hotel office in 1990 when they argued over four prenuptial agreements.
When the divorce settlement was finalized in 1992, Mrs Trump signed a non-disclosure agreement but received, among other things, $14m (£11.8m) and a mansion in Connecticut.
She was also married twice more: from 1995-97 to Italian businessman Riccardo Mazzucchelli; and Italian actor Rossano Rubicondi in 2008-09.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani wrote on Twitter that Mrs. Trump was a “truly talented, creative and beautiful person” who “contributed so much” to his city.
“She was living the American dream,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a key Trump ally.
In 2017, Mrs. Trump told ABC’s Good Morning America that she did not want Trump’s current wife, Melania, to be jealous by calling him at the White House. “I’m basically Trump’s first wife. OK? I’m the first lady,” she said.
It was one of the former model’s many memorable quotes. In a cameo role in the 1996 film The First Wives Club, she told disgruntled divorcees, “Ladies, you have to be strong and independent. And remember, don’t be angry, get everything.”