Donald Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka Trump is an enigmatic figure. The 37-year-old mother of three has transitioned from a business and style icon to a genuine political insider.
As an official advisor to the president, Ivanka is now making moves that could affect everyone in the world. But who is she, really? Here are eight surprising things you didn’t know about Ivanka Trump!
She helped run the Trump Organization
One of the reasons that critics attack Ivanka Trump’s political actions is her perceived lack of experience. She has played major roles in everything from visits to North Korea to the G20 Summit. This left many people asking whether someone more experienced should be performing such roles.
However, she actually has an abundance of national and international experience thanks to the Trump Organization. Over the years, she was much more than the “boss’s daughter” — she was a major mover and shaker in her own right!
For example, she became a real estate force to be reckoned. As Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions, Ivanka led the purchase of Miami’s Doral Resort & Spa and the renovation of Washington, D.C.’s Old Post Office Pavilion. For that last deal, she actually outmaneuvered real estate moguls from Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, and more!
She graduated from the prestigious Wharton School of Business
It’s easy to see that Ivanka Trump has followed in her father’s footsteps in many significant ways. And this actually dates back to her college days!
Donald Trump graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. And Ivanka followed in her father’s footsteps, graduating from Wharton in 2004. Wharton is often considered the top business school in the United States.
At Wharton, Ivanka left a positive mark on just about everyone she encountered. Various classmates remember her as being ambitious and hardworking. And even classmates who clashed with her during classroom exercises remember her as being full of pose and grace the entire time.
Those same classmates remember her mostly skipping the social scene and focusing on her work. Frankly, this is a rare quality for a socialite!
She is not really named Ivanka
Arguably, the biggest secret about Ivanka Trump has been hiding in front of us all this time. Here it is: “Ivanka” isn’t even her real name!
She was born Ivana Trump, and she was named after her mother. However, it soon became difficult to use the name “Ivana” because it referred to two different women.
The solution was simple: since the original Ivana Trump is from Czechoslovakia, the family used the Czech word “Ivanka” which is the nickname for Ivana. She revealed this surprising tidbit in a tweet in 2010!
My actual name is Ivana. In Czech, Ivanka is the baby name for Ivana, like Bobby is to Robert. RT @Saluxious Ivanka, how'd you get u r name?
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) December 28, 2010
She can curse in Czech
As a White House advisor, Ivanka Trump now plays in international politics. But when it comes to languages, she has more international experience than you might expect!
The First Daughter is fully fluent in French, which is a major boon as she travels. And thanks to the influence of her mother, Ivanka Trump also understands Czech.
Of course, she has a sense of humor about her Czech language experience. She once tweeted that the only Czech words she really knew by heart were the curse words!
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 22, 2010
She’s donated to Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Cory Booker
Due to the bitter 2016 presidential election, it is understandable that most people perceive the Trumps and the Clintons as at each other’s throats. But would you believe that Ivanka Trump actually donated money to Hillary Clinton?
Yep, back in 2007, Ivanka donated to Clinton’s presidential campaign when their families were much closer together. But that’s not the only politician who later became a rival to her father that she donated to.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Ivanka has donated to noted Donald Trump rivals including Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney, Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, and more!
She even donated to Kamala Harris and held a fundraiser in 2013 for Cory Booker! Now, ironically, these Democrats are running for president against her father!
She was a registered independent voter
Confused about why Ivanka used to donate to both Republicans and Democrats? Before her father’s run for president, her voter registration showed no party affiliation. That’s right, she was an independent voter.
Her lack of GOP affiliation caused her father some embarrassment in 2016, when she missed a deadline to register as a Republican, and was unable to vote for her father in the New York primary!
She was close friends with Chelsea Clinton
The link between Ivanka Trump and the Clintons goes deeper than the deep pockets of the Trump family. In fact, would you believe that Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton were once good friends?
In the years before the 2016 election, Ivanka and Chelsea hung out quite a bit. And it made a lot of sense: each of them was rich, relatively famous, and living in Manhattan. They even went out together on double dates!
In 2015, Chelsea confirmed their closeness. She told Entertainment Tonight, “Ivanka and I talk about everything. I’m so grateful she’s my friend.”
And in a 2017 interview with 20/20 before her father’s inauguration, Ivanka reaffirmed their friendship, saying, “She’s been a friend of mine long before the campaign and of course she will be a friend of mine after.”
She converted to Judaism
Raised Presbyterian, Ivanka converted to Orthodox Judaism in July 2009, several months before marrying her husband Jared Kushner in a Jewish ceremony.
She takes her religion seriously, keeping a Kosher diet and observing the Sabbath.
“It’s been such a great life decision for me. I am very modern, but I’m also a very traditional person, and I think that’s an interesting juxtaposition in how I was raised as well. I really find that with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity,” she told Vogue in 2015.