Robert Trump, younger brother of President Trump, died Saturday night, the White House confirmed in a statement from the president. He was 71.
"It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight," the president wrote. "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."
The president had traveled to New York on Friday to visit his ailing brother. A senior administration official had said the president “has a very good relationship with his brother and his brother is very special to him.”
Robert, who died just 11 days before what would have been his 72nd birthday, had reportedly spent more than a week in the intensive care unit at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City earlier this summer.
Robert Trump is the president’s youngest brother and the youngest of the five Trump siblings: Maryanne Trump Barry, 83, a retired federal judge; Fred Trump Jr., who died in 1981 at the age of 43; Donald, 74, who is in the middle; Elizabeth Trump Grau, 78, a retired bank executive, and then Robert.
Like his president brother, Robert Trump joined the family business and was a top executive at the Trump Organization.
Robert Trump had pulled back from the public view in recent years and described himself as “gainfully retired” living in Millbrook, N.Y. But Robert had come back into the spotlight recently, as he repeatedly tried to block publication of his niece Mary Trump’s new book, “Too Much and Never Enough.”
He requested a restraining order to stop the book from being published, saying its publication would be a violation of the will she signed of the family patriarch Fred Trump Sr.
“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,” Robert Trump told the New York Times in a statement.
Robert Trump didn’t court the limelight the way his brother did, but his high-profile divorce in 2008 from his wife of 25 years, socialite Blaine Trump, broke headlines. Robert Trump was said to be having an affair with his secretary, with whom he later lived, Ann Marie Pallan. Robert and Blaine remained on good terms, with Blaine even attending President Trump’s inauguration in 2017.
The youngest Trump sibling used his fortune to patronize a number of local causes and small businesses, local residents told Town and Country Magazine. He was a trustee of Angels of Light, a holiday giving nonprofit, and had donated a significant amount to a horse rescue operation in the area, among other causes.