President Donald Trump announced Saturday that his younger brother, Robert, has died at 71.
“It is with heavy heart I share that my wonderful brother, Robert, peacefully passed away tonight. 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,” the president said in a statement released by the White House late Saturday.
The president visited his brother at a New York hospital on Friday. “He’s having a tough time,” the president told reporters before leaving Joint Base Andrews en route to New York.
He had had health problems earlier this year, according to news reports.
Robert Stewart Trump, who served as a top executive at the Trump Organization, was born in 1948, the youngest of New York City real estate developer Fred Trump’s five children.
Robert Trump had remained close to the 74-year-old president and, as recently as June, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Trump family that unsuccessfully sought to stop publication of a tell-all book by the president’s niece, Mary.
Both longtime businessmen, Robert and Donald had strikingly different personalities. Donald Trump once described his younger brother as “much quieter and easygoing than I am,” and “the only guy in my life whom I ever call ‘honey.’”
“When he worked in the Trump Organization, he was known as the nice Trump,” Gwenda Blair, a Trump family biographer, told The Associated Press. “Robert was the one people would try to get to intervene if there was a problem.”