Robert Trump, the younger brother of President Donald Trump, passed away over the weekend at the age of 71.
The news was confirmed in a statement issued by Trump via the White House after he visited his brother in hospital.
Who was Robert Trump?
Robert Trump is the younger brother of President Donald Trump, who passed away on Saturday 15 August, 2020.
Trump had been called to the hospital the day before his death, telling reporters: “He’s having a hard time.”
The cause of Robert’s death is unclear and has not been officially announced.
Robert was the youngest of the Trump siblings and was born in 1948 to Fred and Mary Anne Trump, two years after Donald Trump was born.
Robert was a businessman who attended Boston University, and served as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, with part of his duties involving overseeing the organisation’s Atlantic City casinos.
He also served on the board of ZeniMax Media, a company which produced video games like Doom, Rage and Fallout.
In 1980, Robert married Blaine Beard. The two were married until 2007, when they divorced.
Robert remarried in March 2020 to Ann Marie Pallan.
Michael D’Antonio, a Trump biographer, described Robert as “the quietest of Trumps”, adding: “He was glad to stay out of the spotlight.”
While Robert did not experience as much media spotlight as his older brother, he did appear in the news earlier this year when his niece Mary Trump published a tell-all book about the Trump family, titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.
Robert had requested a temporary restraining order in an effort to stop the book from being published, but it went ahead.
In a statement to the New York Times, Robert said: “Her attempt to sensationalise and characterise our family relationship after all 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.
“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.”
What has Donald Trump said?
In a statement issued via the White House, Trump said: “It is with a 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.”
Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, posted on Twitter on 16 August: “Uncle Robert, we love you. You are in our hearts and prayers, always.”
Eric, Trump’s son, also tweeted on 16 August, writing: “Robert Trump was an incredible man - strong, king and loyal to the core. Anyone who encountered him felt his warmth immediately. He will be deeply missed by our entire family.”
Trump has not made any statements on his own official Twitter account, nor has Melania, his wife.
Reactions to the news of his death
Mike Pence, the vice president of the United States, tweeted his support to Trump after the news broke: “Karen and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Robert Trump and we send our heartfelt sympathies to President @realDonaldTrump and the entire Trump Family.
“We pray their family and friends will be comforted during this difficult time. God bless the memory of Robert Trump.”
Joe Biden, who is running against Trump for the American presidency, also acknowledged the death of Robert.
He wrote: “Mr. President, Jill and I are sad to learn of your younger brother Robert’s passing. I know the tremendous pain of losing a loved one - and I know how important family is in moments like these. I hope you know that our prayers are with you all.”
Kamala Harris, who is Biden’s running mate and would act as vice president should Biden win the election in November, also tweeted her support.
She wrote: “Doug and I join the Biden family in sending our deepest condolences and prayers to the entire Trump family during this difficult time. Losing a loved one is never easy but know that we are thinking of you.”