President Donald Trump on Saturday announced the passing of his “best friend” and youngest brother, at age 71: “It is with a heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight,” the President said in a statement.
The nature of Robert Trump’s illness was not disclosed. His death came one day after he had been hospitalized in New York on Friday. The president’s brother spent more than a week in the intensive care unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in June.
“He was not just my brother, he was my best friend,” President Trump said. “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 was the youngest of Fred and Mary Anne Trump’s five children. The eldest of the Trump children, Fred Jr, died in 1981. His daughter, Mary Trump, recently published a scathing memoir about the president, and her uncle, Robert, went to court in a failed attempt to stop its publication.
Robert Trump spent much of his career as a top executive with the family’s real-estate business, but shied away from publicity. According to The Hudson Valley News, he supported local charities, and served as a trustee of the nonprofit Angels of Light and a horse-rescue group. He donated to Republican candidates, and during his brother’s 2016 campaign, told Page Six: “I support Donald one thousand percent. I think he’s doing a great job. I think he’s got a great message.”