Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Frank Sinatra's first wife Nancy dies at 101


Nancy Sinatra, the first wife of legendary singer Frank Sinatra, died Friday at the age of 101, her daughter said.

Her daughter calls her "a blessing and the light of my life". "Godspeed, Momma. Thank you for everything".

The cause of death was not immediately clear.

"Nancy was giving herself a manicure on the front porch when Frank came over with his ukulele and began to serenade her", according to an account on Sinatra's website.

In 1934, Nancy Barbato met a young Frank when he was a relatively unknown jazz singer in Long Branch, New Jersey.

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He left his wife for Ava Gardner in the early 1950s. The two were parents to three children, the late Frank Sinatra Jr., a singer/musician who toiled in the shadow of his famous father, singer/actress Nancy Sinatra and singer/film producer Tina Sinatra.

Nancy, who never remarried, later became known as Nancy Sr after daughter Nancy became a 1960s singing star in her own right. They married in 1939 and had three children together.

In this October 23, 1946 file photo, singer Frank Sinatra and his wife Nancy smile broadly as they leave a Hollywood night club.

In December 1963, the Sinatras went through a scare when their 19-year-old son Frank Jr was kidnapped from a Lake Tahoe hotel and held for $240,000 ransom.

She is thought to have remained friends with her ex-husband up until his death and he would reportedly put in requests for various Italian dishes she was a expert in over the years. Sinatra's hit song, "She's Funny That Way", plays in the background.

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