Nancy Sinatra Sr., childhood sweetheart and first wife to crooning legend Frank Sinatra, has died. She was 101.
Her eldest daughter, Nancy Sinatra Jr., confirmed in a tweet Friday night that her mother died earlier that evening.
“She was a blessing and the light of my life,” she wrote. “Godspeed, Momma. Thank you for everything.”
Her death comes two decades after her husband’s, who died of a heart attack in 1998 at age 82.
Born Nancy Barbato of Jersey City, New Jersey, she and Frank Sinatra started dating as teenagers, and the pair married five years later.
They began their marriage living in a modest apartment in Jersey City, where their two eldest children, Nancy Sinatra Jr. and Frank Sinatra Jr., were born. Nancy Sinatra Sr. worked as a secretary and Frank Sinatra was a singing waiter attempting to start up a career in music.
When Frank Sinatra shot to fame in the 1940s, the couple relocated to Los Angeles, where their youngest daughter, Tina Sinatra, was born.
Nancy Sinatra Sr. ended their marriage in 1951 when Frank Sinatra’s affair with actress Ava Gardner became public.
While Frank Sinatra went on to marry Gardner and then Mia Farrow and eventually Barbara Marx, Nancy Sinatra Sr. never remarried and devoted her life to raising their three children.
Their children Frank Sinatra Jr. and Nancy Sinatra Jr. went on to embark singing careers of their own while their youngest, Tina Sinatra, went on to work in film and production.