Frank Sinatra’s Widow, Barbara, Passes

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Barbara and Frank Sinatra (PRNewsfoto/Barbara Sinatra Center; used with permission)

Barbara Sinatra, the humanitarian, founder of the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children, former model and wife of the late Frank Sinatra passed away today (July 25) at her home in Rancho Mirage, CA, of natural causes. She was 90 years old.

A family spokesman said she died comfortably surrounded by family and friends at her home. Barbara Sinatra is survived by her son Robert Oliver Marx, his wife Hillary Roberts, and her grand-daughter Carina Blakeley Marx.

Born Barbara Blakeley in Bosworth, Missouri, she moved at age 18 with her family to Long Beach,CA and shortly thereafter married Robert Oliver and began her modeling career. Following their divorce, Barbara married Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers in 1959 in Las Vegas. She became Frank Sinatra’s fourth and last wife in a private ceremony at the Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage in July 1976.

A few months later, on November 12, 1976, Frank Sinatra was a guest on The Tonight Show. Johnny Carson asked The Voice an interesting question: “When you’re in a romantic mood… when you’re trying to make out… whose records do you put on?” After Sinatra’s answer, and one minute into the clip, Rickles walks in, unannounced.

Watch what happened next here.

Barbara and Frank Sinatra travelled the world for 26 years together until his death in 1998. After moving to Palm Springs in the late 1950’s, Barbara began an illustrious journey as an activist especially for children. In 1985, she began a concentrated effort to raise funds for the establishment of a state-of-the-art facility to provide services and counseling for children suffering the effects of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. The nonprofit Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center on the campus of Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA would also focus on prevention, community education and breaking the generational cycle of abuse.

Through her efforts, more than 20,000 children through age 18 have received beneficial therapy at the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children, making it possible for them to cope with traumas associated with abuse.

In 2011, Barbara Sinatra co-wrote with Wendy Holden, Lady Blue Eyes…My Life with Frank. The book covers Barbara’s humble beginnings to her life with her iconic husband and her philanthropic efforts including the Children’s Center.


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