Washington DC, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- Robert Trump, the younger brother of the President of the United States Donald Trump, died on Saturday at the age of 71 at a New York hospital, the president said in a press release.
“It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. He was not just my brother, he was my best friend,” the president said in a statement issued by the White House.
“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.”
Donald Trump had reached New York on Friday to visit his brother after revealing that Robert was admitted to a hospital in the city and “having a hard time,” without revealing details of his illness.
Local news reports cited family friends as saying that Robert had suffered brain hemorrhages due to a fall and in recent weeks his health deteriorated to a point that he was unable to talk on phone.
The president and his younger brother had a tumultuous relationship, but in 2016 Robert had said that he backed Donald’s presidential bid “one hundred percent,” and publicly hugged him on the night of his victory.
In June this year, Robert launched a lawsuit to try and block the publication of a critical book about the president written by his niece Mary Trump, daughter of their elder brother, the late Fred Jr.
Although he wasn’t able to prevent the book from being released, Robert proved his loyalty to the president, who stresses on this quality among all of his allies.
With a much more quiet personality than Donald, Robert Trump usually tried to stay away from the limelight, especially after his brother reached the White House.
As the youngest of the five Trump siblings, Robert was never groomed for taking over the reigns of his family’s real-estate empire, and thus escaped much of the pressure and discipline that his father exercised on his two eldest sons.
Robert – who did not have children but adopted and raised the son of his first wife Blaine Trump – began his career at the Wall Street but later ended up working for his brother as an executive in the family business.
The ties between the two brothers reportedly deteriorated in 1990 over business issues, and Robert distanced himself from the key businesses of the firm for many years.
The two finally reconciled only after Donald decided to run for the White House.
Apart from the president, Robert Trump is survived by two elder sisters Maryanne and Elizabeth and his second wife Ann Marie Pallan. EFE-EPA