Donald Trump’s younger brother, Robert Trump, died on Saturday night aged 71 after being hospitalised in New York, the president said in a statement.
The president on Friday visited his brother in hospital after White House officials said Robert had become seriously ill. Officials did not immediately release a cause of death.
“It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight,” Donald Trump said in a statement. “He was not just my brother, he was my best friend. 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.”
Robert Trump spent much of his career with the family real-estate firm, becoming a top executive. Unlike his brother, however, he was said not to court publicity and lived semi-retired in New York state.
In his 1987 book The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump wrote that “Robert gets along with almost everyone, which is great for me since I sometimes have to be the bad guy”.
In a 2016 interview with the New York Post ahead of the presidential election, the younger brother said “I support Donald one thousand percent”.
He recently went to court in a failed bid to stop publication of his niece Mary Trump’s tell-all book about the president, How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.
He divorced his first wife Blaine over a decade ago and married Ann Marie Pallan in March this year.