Former First Lady Melania Trump’s mother Amalija Knavs has died at 78 years old, the family has announced.
President Donald Trump has paid tribute to his mother-in-law, calling her “an incredible woman.”
“This is a very sad night for the entire Trump family!!!” the 45th president said.
“Melania’s great and beautiful mother, Amalija, has just gone to a beautiful place in the sky.
“She was an incredible woman, and will be missed far beyond words!”
He then shared a photo of himself standing with Amalija.
Melania, 53, announced earlier on Tuesday that her mother had died.
“It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved mother, Amalija,” she said.
Melania missed most of the Christmas and New Year celebrations at Mar-a-Lago to care for her ailing mother.
“Amalija Knavs was a strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth, and dignity,” a statement reads.
“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.”
Melania did not reveal a cause of death.
However, President Trump said on New Year’s Eve that his mother-in-law was “very ill” and the impact was “tough” on the family.
Knavs was born in 1945 in Judendorf-Strassengel, Austria, before moving to Slovenia when it was still under communist rule.
She spent her humble childhood harvesting onions on her family farm before starting work at a textile factory, which is where she met her husband, Viktor.
They welcomed their first daughter, Ines – who now lives in Manhattan – in 1968.
Two years later, the couple had Melania, who always said she was inspired by her hardworking mother.
The sisters both moved to Milan to launch their modeling careers, and Melania first came to the United States in 1996.
She obtained a green card in 2001 and became a naturalized citizen in 2006.
The Knavs then moved to the U.S. and were by Melania’s side during her career from modeling to the East Wing.
They were retired and spent most of their time living at their son-in-law’s palatial Palm Beach Club.