The Staircase 2.0: The Unusual Circumstances of Ivana Trump’s Death And Her Golf Course Burial

On July 14, 45’s first wife was found at the bottom of the stairs, unconscious and unresponsive in her Manhattan home.



On July 20 her body was laid to rest at Donald Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club in what some described as a “pauper’s grave”, not far from the first hole. If you like our content, please become a patron to get our premium episodes, as well as our public episodes ad-free.

Mother of Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric, Ivana Trump was 73 years old. An employee found her and called 911 at 1:40 pm. The autopsy was conducted in less than 24 hours and her death was ruled “an accident”, the official cause of death being “blunt force trauma to her torso”. 1

She deserves to be remembered not only as Trump’s first wife. She was a New York socialite, model and author but she was also an athlete who made the Czech skiing Olympics team. Ivana Trump was her own person: a mother, an author, fashion designer and New York socialite.

In the first half we focus on Ivana’s life before she met Donald Trump, as there are some tragic aspects like the death of the man she loved, George Staidl, a playwright and lyricist who died in a car crash, and her fourth husband, Italian actor Rossano Rubicondi who passed away at 49 with melanoma (a type of skin cancer).

Ivana Maria Zelnickova was an educated woman with a master’s degree in Physical Education and she was a fighter: she fled from communism in her native country (then Czechoslovakia, part of the USSR) and built a new life for herself, starting off in Canada and then immigrating here, to the United States.

In the second half we discuss the details of her death and the timing. Ivana passed away on July 14. Donald Trump and his three adult children were going be deposed the next day, separately, as part of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the Trump Organization. The depositions were postponed.

We also discuss her golf course burial in an austere grave and the attempt by Donal Trump to designate the area as a cemetery to get a tax break. A cemetery in New Jersey avoids property, income, and sales tax, the holy tax trinity. 2, 3

Donald Trump is also selling an “eternal membership” for the Bedminster National Golf Club: people play to play and when they pass, they can be buried close to Ivana if they pay extra. 4

Ivana also loved dogs. Funeral guests and others, in lieu of flowers, were asked to donate to Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Florida and to “help save the lives of dogs that are in desperate need.” The charity was picked by her ex-husband and children, and this seems to be another of Trump’s schemes where the money is not really going where they say it’s going.

Ivana’s own dog, Tiger, is now living with her assistant.

Episode #DubiMeter = 9


1. Kanishka Singh and Daniel Trotta. Ivana Trump, First Wife of Donald Trump Who Helped Build his Empire, Dies at 73. Reuters. July 2022. 

2. Hamish Mitchell Twitter account. Tweet: Pics of Ivana Trump's Grave. Twitter. July 2022. 

3. Edward Helmore. Will Ivana Help Donald Trump with Tax Breaks from Beyond the Grave?. The Guardian. July 2022. 

4. Sinéad Baker and Tom Porter. Trump's PAC Asked Fans to Donate Money While Announcing His Ex-wife Ivana's Death. Business Insider. July 2022.