Robert Trump was the younger brother of President Donald Trump, and they enjoyed a close relationship by all accounts. On August 14, the White House confirmed that Robert was in a hospital in New York, and the president visited his brother there. On August 15, multiple sources reported that Robert has died. His cause of death is not known, but he was sick for several months, CNN reported.
“It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight,” Donald Trump said in a statement, according to The Dayton Daily News. “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 Trump was 71, making him three years younger than the 74-year-old president. He was one of the five children of Fred C. Trump, described in his New York Times obituary as “one of the last of New York City’s major postwar builders,” but also a controversial figure because of his real estate deals.
Robert was the only surviving brother of the president. His other brother, Fred Trump Jr., died in 1981 after struggling with alcoholism.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Robert Trump Was on Blood Thinners & Recently Suffered Brain Bleeds
According to The New York Times, which also did not reveal a cause of death, “Robert Trump, who took blood thinners, had suffered recent brain bleeds that began after a recent fall.”
ABC News first broke the story on August 14 that Robert was in the hospital in New York. The White House later confirmed the information. The exact nature of Robert’s condition was not known, but he was described as “very ill” by ABC.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told ABC news that the president and his brother “have a very good relationship.” Donald Trump was expected to visit his brother in the hospital, and he did so. Robert Trump was previously in a New York intensive care unit in June, according to ABC.
2. Robert Trump Previously Worked for the Trump Organization & Underwent a Divorce That Hit the Headlines
According to CNN, Robert was “a former top executive at the Trump Organization.”
He worked for his father too. Robert Trump’s father “paid him a $500,000 annual salary” and he approved many of Fred’s business payments, according to The New York Times.
Business Insider reported that Robert is retired and lives in Millbrook, New York.
He supported his brother’s presidency. “I support Donald one thousand percent,” Robert told Page Six. “I think he’s doing a great job. I think he’s got a great message.”
Page Six reports that Robert was married to a popular socialite named Blaine Trump for 25 years. The marriage ended when he “fell in love with his secretary, Ann Marie Pallan, and bought her a $3.7 million house in Garden City, NY,” the site reports. At the time of his divorce, he was living with Pallan for two years, according to New York Magazine, which described Blaine Trump as loving “the scene,” but Robert not caring about it.
Town and Country describes how Robert lived a low-key life after the scandal, donating money to a horse rescue group and serving as a trustee for a non-profit that focuses on “holiday giving.” A local told Town and Country, “He’s not flamboyant. He couldn’t be more different than his brother, quite frankly. I don’t even know how they’re in the same family.”
3. Robert Was Trump’s Only Surviving Brother; The President Has Two Living Sisters
Trump has four siblings, of which Robert was the youngest, according to CNN. The third brother, Fred Trump Jr., battled alcohol addiction and died young.
They are the children of Frederick Christ Trump, who was born in New York City in 1905, the son of German immigrants, and Mary McLeod, a Scottish immigrant, The Times obit for the Trump patriarch Fred C. Trump says.
According to the obituary, the Trump children were Maryanne Trump Barry (who became a federal judge); Elizabeth Trump Grau; Fred Trump Jr., who died in 1981; and Donald and Robert. The New York Times has accused Trump and his siblings of setting “up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents,” adding that “the president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children.” A lawyer for Trump called the Times’ reporting extremely inaccurate.
In that article, Robert released a statement for the family. It read,
Our dear father, Fred C. Trump, passed away in June 1999. Our beloved mother, Mary Anne Trump, passed away in August 2000. All appropriate gift and estate tax returns were filed, and the required taxes were paid. Our father’s estate was closed in 2001 by both the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State tax authorities, and our mother’s estate was closed in 2004. Our family has no other comment on these matters that happened some 20 years ago, and would appreciate your respecting the privacy of our deceased parents, may God rest their souls.
4. Robert Led a Lawsuit to Try to Stop an Anti-Trump Book by His Niece
Robert Trump took the lead legally in trying to get a restraining order to stop his niece (and Donald’s) from publishing her anti-Trump book, Too Much and Never Enough. Mary was the daughter of the deceased Trump brother, Fred Jr.
According to People Magazine, Robert “cited a confidentiality agreement Mary signed in 2001 in settling a suit over family money and related issues” in trying to block the book, but a judge ruled it could go forward.
“Remember, at the time the Agreement was agreed upon, the Trump family were New York based real estate developers and not much else,” the judge wrote, according to People. “They were not elected officials or TV personalities. The issues that were the subject of the Agreement were intra family issues, not of worldwide concern, or even national interest.”
Robert told the New York Times, “Her attempt to sensationalize and mischaracterize our family relationship after all of these years for her own financial gain is both a travesty and injustice to the memory of my late brother, Fred, and our beloved parents,” he said. “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.”
5. President Trump Called His Brother ‘Wonderful’
On August 14, Trump addressed reporters about his brother.
“I have a wonderful brother. We’ve had a great relationship for a long time, from day one. It’s a long time ago. And he’s in the hospital right now. And hopefully he’ll be alright, but he is pretty — he’s having a hard time,” Trump said, according to ABC 7.