In the 1980s, Donald Trump tapped Robert Trump to oversee an Atlantic City casino project, calling him the perfect fit for the job. When it cannibalised his other casinos, though, “he pointed the finger of blame at Robert”, said Blair, author of The Trumps: Three Generations that Built an Empire.
“When the slot machines jammed the opening weekend at the Taj Mahal, he very specifically and furiously denounced Robert, and Robert walked out and never worked for his brother again,” Blair said.
A Boston University graduate, Robert Trump later managed the Brooklyn portion of father Fred Trump’s real estate empire, which was eventually sold.
Once a regular boldface name in Manhattan’s social pages, Robert Trump had kept a lower profile in recent years. “He was not a newsmaker,” Blair said.
Before divorcing his first wife, Blaine Trump, more than a decade ago, Robert Trump had been active on Manhattan’s Upper East Side charity circuit.
He avoided the limelight during his elder brother’s presidency, having retired to the Hudson Valley. But he described himself as a big supporter of the White House run in a 2016 interview with the New York Post.
“I support Donald one thousand percent,” Robert Trump said.
In early March of 2020, he married his longtime girlfriend, Ann Marie Pallan.
The eldest Trump sibling and Mary’s father, Fred Trump Jr, struggled with alcoholism and died in 1981 at the age of 43. The president’s surviving siblings include Elizabeth Trump Grau and Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired federal appeals judge.
Authors Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher described Robert Trump as soft spoken but cerebral in Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President: “He lacked Donald’s charismatic showmanship, and he was happy to leave the bravado to his brother, but he could show flashes of Trump temper.”