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Nancy Sinatra Dead at 101

Frank Sinatra's first wife left him over his womanizing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 14, 2018 9:30 AM CDT
In this Dec. 12, 2007 photo, Nancy Sinatra Sr. smiles with Paramount Pictures producer A.C. Lyles during a ceremony commemorating Frank Sinatra's 92nd birthday, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
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(Newser) – Nancy Sinatra Sr., the childhood sweetheart of Frank Sinatra who became the first of his four wives and the mother of his three children, has died. She was 101, the AP reports. Her daughter, Nancy Sinatra Jr., tweeted that her mother died Friday and a posting on her web page said she died at 6:02pm but didn't indicate where she died. "She was a blessing and the light of my life," her daughter says. Nancy and Frank Sinatra had been dating as teenagers and married at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Feb. 4, 1939, just as Frank's singing career was about to take off. Three years before marrying the former Nancy Barbato, he had landed a 15-minute radio show on local station WAAT.

During the marriage's early years, the Sinatras lived in a modest apartment in Jersey City, where their two eldest children were born. After Sinatra became a pop-music sensation in the 1940s, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where the singer would also become a movie star, raconteur, man about town, and notorious womanizer. Nancy Sinatra left Frank after his affair with actress Ava Gardner became public knowledge. Weeks after the pair's divorce became final in 1951, Frank married Gardner, while Nancy went on to raise the couple's three children: Nancy, Frank Jr., and Tina. After the gossip over the divorce and Gardner marriage died down, Nancy Sinatra devoted herself to family and numerous celebrity friends, largely withdrawing from the spotlight. She not only outlived her husband, who died in 1998, but her son, who died in 2016.

(Read more obituary stories.)

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