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Melania Trump’s ‘Beloved’ Mother Amalija Knavs Dead at 78 After Battling Illness

Melania Trump‘s mother, Amalija Knavs, has died at the age of 78.

Trump, 53, announced the news via X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, January 9. “It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved mother, Amalija,” the former first lady 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.”

Donald Trump issued a social media statement of his own on Tuesday, noting that it was “a very sad night” for his wife and their family. He called his mother-in-law “an incredible woman” who will be “missed far beyond words!”

Last month, the former President of the United States revealed that Knavs was “very ill” while addressing Melania’s absence from his New Year’s Eve party at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. In video footage from the event, Donald told attendees that Melania was “in a hospital with her mother” and acknowledged that it had been a “very tough” holiday season for his family.

Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump

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“[Melania] sends her love to everybody, and she knows probably about 95 percent of [the] people in the room,” he added. “And we just want to wish Amalija that she gets better as quickly as possible.”

It’s unclear what illness Knavs was battling, and a cause of death was not immediately revealed.

Melania Trump Mother Amalija Knavs Dead at 78 After Battling Illness 2
Amalija Knavs and Viktor Knavs Alex Wong/Getty Images

Knavs was born in Slovenia in 1945. She and her husband, Viktor, became naturalized citizens in 2018 with Melania as their sponsor. The couple reportedly lived on the upper floors of the White House residence during their son-in-law’s presidency and had been staying at Mar-a-Lago with the Trumps in recent years.

Ivanka Trump and family

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Melania spoke openly about being inspired by her parents, praising their hard-working attitudes in her speech to the Republican National Convention in 2016. “My elegant and hardworking mother Amalija introduced me to fashion and beauty,” she said at the time. “My father, Viktor, instilled in me a passion for business and travel. Their integrity, compassion and intelligence reflect to this day on me and for my love of family and America.”

Melania Trump Mother Amalija Knavs Dead at 78 After Battling Illness
Melania Trump Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Along with Melania, Knavs is survived by her husband, older daughter Ines Knauss and grandson Barron, whom the Trumps welcomed in 2006. Donald also shares children Donald Jr., Ivanka and son Eric with his late ex-wife, Ivana Trump, and daughter Tiffany with ex-wife Marla Maples.

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