At age 16, she took modeling jobs in Milan and Paris. Republicans approved the rules for the convention in a vote that turned out to be contentious.
Less contentious appears to be the vote for the Republican Party platform. But that doesn't mean they'll go quietly.
Party leaders sought to play down the split over the rules, arguing delegates often do not fully understand the petitions they sign when their delegations gather for their breakfasts. Mrs. Trump, appearing in a striking white dress with elbow-length sleeves ending in big, puffy cuffs, spoke after an uncharacteristically brief introduction from her husband, who kissed her and called her "my wife, an awesome mother, an incredible woman".
Melania Trump's well-received speech Monday to the Republican National Convention contains passages that match almost word-for-word the speech that first lady Michelle Obama delivered in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.
"If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you, he is the guy", Mrs. Trump said in her highest-profile appearance of the presidential campaign.
In between delegates were treated to speeches from the closest things to celebrities Trump could coax to the podium: actors Scott Baio, remembered as the TV character Chachi, and Antonio Sabato, formerly known as a Calvin Klein underwear model. The statement didn't mention Mrs. Obama.
The Trump campaign released a statement early Tuesday morning addressing the controversy, saying, in part, "Melania's team of writers took notes on her life's inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking".
The Trump campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Fox News, the commotion interrupted a discussion between anchor Stuart Varney and media watchdog Brent Bozell, who agreed the media would portray the convention as a series of confrontations that would reflect ill on Trump.
Priebus also told reporters at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast he doesn't know what happened with Mrs. Trump's speech: "I don't have a view yet".
In more somber speeches, Republicans highlighted at length the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, while Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was serving as secretary of state.
"Mr. Trump felt it was important to do, so he did it", Paul Manafort told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day".
Some of the women delegates interviewed by Reuters at the convention on Monday were scornful of the criticism of Trump's attitude toward women, pointing to his daughter Ivanka, who is a top executive in the Trump Organisation. Christie lobbied hard to be Trump's vice presidential pick but was passed over, just as his "Bridgegate" political retribution scandal continues to evolve. "Let's make America America again!".
On the Republican side, Donald Trump's candidacy introduced the long-dormant " nationalism versus globalism" dialogue back into the United States political discourse, with the candidate suggesting that United States leaders have for years placed worldwide obligations and commitments ahead of the interests of their citizens.
The evening session Monday belonged to Trump.
But the argument may be complicated by the fact that America is already going back to work - at least judging by unemployment.
The deadly truck attack in France and the ambush killings of five police officers this month in Dallas and three more in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, over the weekend heightened fears of bloodshed. Yet that full-throated call will come just as Trump is working to expand his appeal to Democrats and Clinton supporters who by and large want to see new gun laws in the wake of mass shootings like the recent one in Orlando, Florida.
It was the flawless capper to a day that failed to disappoint, kicked off with talk of pee-pee and false flag operations at the pro-Trump America First Unity rally convened by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and political dirty trickster Roger Stone, who told rally-goers that he was "Italian from the waist down".