Amalija Knavs Dead at 78

( – Amalija Knavs, mother of former First Lady Melania Trump, has died. The Austrian-born Slovenian immigrant spent her final years, alongside her husband, living with the Trumps at their Mar-a-Lago estate. The 45th president’s mother-in-law was 78 years old at the time of her passing.

Marca reports that Knavs was born in July 1945. She spent her early childhood in Austria, working as a textile marker and farmer, before eventually moving with her parents to Slovenia, which was still under communist leadership. She married Viktor Knavs in 1966 and had her first child, Ines, in 1968. Knavs gave birth to Melania in 1970.

The couple became US citizens in 2018, springboarding from their younger daughter’s earlier immigration path. Melania Knavs moved to the United States in 1996, gaining a green card in 2001. She married businessman Donald J. Trump in 2005 and became a naturalized citizen the following year. The Knavs took advantage of family-based immigration, which opens pathways to citizenship for family members of legal citizens. Trump had previously slammed the regulation on social media, calling it “chain migration” and insisting it not be included in any legislation.

Amalija Knavs had a good relationship with her daughter and was reportedly close to her grandson, Barron. PEOPLE states that, at times, the child was spotted more often with her and his grandfather than with his own parents.

There’s no official word on the official cause of Amalija Knavs’ death, but she had been suffering from an undisclosed illness. Melania Trump had reportedly missed the celebration her husband hosted on New Year’s Eve to be at her mother’s hospital bedside. The former president had wished both of them well and stated at the time that he hoped his mother-in-law would make a speedy recovery.

Both Melania and Donald Trump expressed their sadness over the loss on social media. Former President Trump posted the news on Truth Social, while his wife shared on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

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