Melania Trump's Mother Dead at 78

Amalija Knavs lived at Mar-a-Lago with her husband before her death
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2024 1:00 AM CST
Melania Trump's Mother Dies at 78
Amalija Knavs, mother of first lady Melania Trump greets President Donald Trump as he walks through the crowd at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 2, 2018, during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Amalija Knavs, mother of Melania Trump, died Tuesday in Florida after what ABC News calls "a long health battle." The former first lady confirmed her mother's death on X. "It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved mother, Amalija," she wrote. "Amalija Knavs was a strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth, and dignity. She was entirely devoted to her husband, daughters, grandson, and son-in-law. We will miss her beyond measure and continue to honor and love her legacy." Video from Donald Trump's New Year's Eve event at Mar-a-Lago captures him explaining to the crowd that his wife was absent because her mother had fallen "very ill," People reports.

Knavs, who was just one year older than Donald Trump, and her husband, Melania's 79-year-old father Viktor Knavs, had a close relationship with their daughter and her family. The couple, originally from present-day Slovenia, had lived for a time on the White House's upper floors during their son-in-law's presidency, and had recently been living at Mar-a-Lago, where the Trumps also live. A source tells People their grandson Barron Trump, now 17, was particularly close to them: "There have been times when Barron has been with his grandparents more than with Melania, and a lot more than with Donald." (More Melania Trump stories.)

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