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Nancy Sinatra Sr., Frank Sinatra’s First Wife, Dies at 101

Nancy Sinatra Sr., the former wife of Frank Sinatra and mother of his three children, has died. She was 101.

According to a tweet posted by Sinatra’s daughter Nancy, she died Friday. “My mother passed away peacefully tonight at the age of 101. She was a blessing and the light of my life. Godspeed, Momma. Thank you for everything,” Nancy wrote. The cause and location of death was not released.

Sinatra, then Nancy Barbato, met Frank Sinatra in summer of 1934 in Long Branch, N.J. and they were married roughly five years later, on Feb. 4, 1939 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church in Jersey City, N.J. Before Sinatra’s singing career took off, the couple lived in an apartment in Jersey City. Nancy Sr found work as a secretary while Frank worked as a singing waiter.

The couple’s first child, Nancy, who would go on to become a singer in her own right with the ’60s hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” was born June 8, 1940. Their son, Frank Jr., was born Jan. 10, 1944.

In 1944, after Frank had become a pop music star, the family moved to Toluca Lake, Calif. from their Jersey City home, and had a third child, Tina, on June 20, 1948.

Two years later, the Sinatras separated after Frank’s affair with Ava Gardner became public knowledge, with Frank marrying Gardner, the second of his four wives, shortly after.

Nancy Sinatra never remarried, but there was little enmity between she and her former husband. Nancy outlived both Frank, who died in 1998, and her son, who died in 2016.

“There is no bitterness, only great respect and affection between Sinatra and his first wife,” Gay Talese wrote in 1966, “and he has long been welcome in her home and has even been known to wander in at odd hours, stoke the fire, lie on the sofa, and fall asleep.”

(Pictured: Nancy Sinatra Sr., right, with Mitzi Gaynor)

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