“It is with a heavy heart that I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, passed away peacefully this evening,” Donald Trump said in a statement. “He wasn’t just my brother, he was my best friend. He will be sadly missed, but we will meet again. His memory will live on in my heart forever. Robert, I love you. Rest in peace. ”
The youngest of Trump’s siblings has remained close to the 74-year-old president and, as recently as June, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Trump family who unsuccessfully sought to stop the publication of a revealing book from the president’s niece, Mary. .
Robert Trump was reportedly hospitalized in the intensive care unit for several days that same month.
Longtime businessmen Robert and Donald had remarkably different personalities. Donald Trump once described his younger brother as “much calmer and more laid back than me,” and “the only guy in my life I call ‘sweetheart’.
Robert Trump started his career on Wall Street working in corporate finance, but then joined the family business, managing real estate as a senior executive in the Trump organization.
“When he worked in the Trump organization, he was known as the nice Trump,” Gwenda Blair, Trump family biographer, told The Associated Press. “Robert was the one people tried to step in when there was a problem. ”
Robert Stewart Trump was born in 1948, the youngest of five children to New York real estate developer Fred Trump.
The president, two years older than Robert, admittedly intimidated his brother in their youth, while praising his loyalty and laid back demeanor.
“I think it must be difficult to have me for a brother but he never said anything about it and we are very close”, wrote Donald Trump in his bestseller of 1987 “The Art of the Deal”.
“Robert gets along with almost everyone,” he added, “which is great for me because I have to be the bad guy sometimes. ”
In the 1980s, Donald Trump hired Robert Trump to oversee an Atlantic City casino project, calling him the perfect fit for the job. When he cannibalized his other casinos, however, “he pointed the blame on Robert,” said Blair, author of “The Assets: Three Generations That Built An Empire.”
“When the slots stalled opening weekend at the Taj Mahal, he very specifically and furiously denounced Robert, and Robert went out and never worked for his brother again,” Blair said.
A Boston University graduate, Robert Trump later managed the Brooklyn part of Father Fred Trump’s real estate empire, which was ultimately sold.
Once a name in regular bold on Manhattan social pages, Robert Trump had kept a low profile in recent years. “He was not a reporter,” Blair said.
Before divorcing his first wife, Blaine Trump, over ten years ago, Robert Trump had been active on the charity circuit of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
He avoided the limelight during his older brother’s presidency, after retiring to the Hudson Valley. But he described himself as a big supporter of the White House race in a 2016 interview with the New York Post.
“I support Donald a thousand percent,” said Robert Trump.
In early March 2020, he married his longtime girlfriend, Ann Marie Pallan.
Trump’s older brother and Mary’s father, Fred Trump Jr., struggled with alcoholism and died in 1981 at the age of 43. 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 a gentle but cerebral speech in “Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President”: “He lacked Donald’s charismatic staging, and he was happy to let the bravado to his brother, but he could show flashes of Trump’s temper. ”
AP researcher Jennifer Farrar contributed to this report from New York.