A loyal spokesman for the family, he shunned the spotlight and had “zero sense of entitlement.”
Robert S. Trump, the younger brother of President Trump, died on Saturday night at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.
The White House did not provide a cause of death. “He was not just my brother, he was my best friend,” the president said in a statement late Saturday night. “He will be greatly missed, but we will meet again.”
Robert Trump, who took blood thinners, had suffered recent brain bleeds that began after a recent fall, according to a close friend of the family.
Robert Trump, three years younger than the president, had been in poor health since last month. Over the past few weeks, he had not been able to speak on the phone, according to the family friend.
Donald Trump made a trip to Manhattan on Friday to see him at the hospital, a visit that lasted just under an hour.
On Saturday, when Robert Trump was not expected to live much longer, the president called into the hospital from his Bedminster, N.J., golf club.
A short time later, the president held a wide-ranging news conference. He did not mention his brother’s health, but privately was down and struggling to understand the impending loss, according to friends who spoke to him.
“I have a wonderful brother,” the president had said on Friday during a news conference at the White House before departing to visit him. “We’ve had a great relationship for a long time, from Day 1, a long time ago.” In fact, the two were estranged for years, before Mr. Trump’s run for the White House.
Robert Trump had no children, but he helped raise Christopher Hollister Trump-Retchin, the son of his first wife, Blaine Trump, even giving him his last name.
Besides the president, he is survived by his second wife, Ann Marie Pallan, and his sisters, Maryanne Trump Barry and Elizabeth Trump Grau. His brother Fred Trump Jr. died in 1981.
As the youngest of five children growing up in the strict Queens household of Fred C. Trump, Robert Trump was shielded from some of the pressure exerted by his disciplinarian father over his older brothers.
He was never groomed to take over the family real estate company and was considered by those who knew him to be the inverse of the brash, self-promotional brother who eventually did. After graduating from Boston University, he first went to work on Wall Street, instead of immediately joining the family business.