Barbara Sinatra Has Passed Away At Her California Ranch At 90

Frank Sinatra’s Widow Has Died Of Natural Causes As Announced By Close Ones

Barbara Sinatra, died Tuesday at her Racho Mirage in California. She’s survived by her son, Robert Oliver Marx, and granddaughter, Carina Blakeley Marx.

Barbara was a prominent children’s advocate and philanthropist who raised millions of dollars to help abused children.

Frank Sinatra’s wife passed away on Tuesday

Director of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, John Thoresen, announced that Barbara Sinatra died of natural causes on Tuesday.According to the statement, Sinatra passed away at her  home, surrounded by family and friends. Barbara was 90 and is survived by her son and granddaughter.

Tje personal funeral of the celebrity will be held on August 1.

The late couple shared a philanthropic soul

Barbara, with the help of her husband Frank Sinatra, founded a nonprofit center in Rancho Mirage, near Palm Springs in 1986. The non-profit facility provides therapy for children who have been physical, sexually and emotionally abused.

The center was supported by the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament, which included shows by Sinatra from 1989 until his final performance ever in 1995. Barbara Sinatra continued to host the fund-raising tournament and gala parties and luncheons, until 2016.

She remained active at the center until recently, pushing for the creation of the video program just last year, raising funds and dropping by often to make sure the children had what they needed.

“Barbara started raising funds for it in 1985 with Frank’s support,” Mr Thoresen said. It opened in 1986, and since that time over 20,000 children have received beneficial therapy here.

There are several child advocacy centers like it around the country, [but] this one is probably most recognized.” The iconic fund raising tournament will return in a revamped format in December as the Frank and Barbara Sinatra Classic at Bighorn to continue her legacy.

Via Getty

Barbara’s life

Barbara Blakely was a Missouri native. She moved to Wichita when she was 10, and to Long Beach, California at 18. She was accepted into the Robert Edward School of Professional Modeling. She soon became Model of the Month and, in 1948, queen of the Belmont Shore pageant.

She married a Sinatra-sounding band singer with an Italian-American mother, named Bob Oliver.

They moved back to Long Beach, where Barbara started her own Barbara Blakely School of Modeling.  The school was a success, but, two years after the birth of her son, Robert, her marriage was on the rocks and Barbara was having an affair with another crooner.

It was while working in Las Vegas, where she met her second husband, Zeppo Marx, the straight man of the classic Marx Bros. movies of the 1930s.

Zeppo had a home at home at Tamarisk Country. Barbara wanted to leave Vegas to find a safer environment for her son and Zeppo offered to pay Bobby’s tuition.It was one of the turning points in her life, she instantly became a socialite and the couple wed in 1959.

She met Sinatra through her second husband, Zeppo Marx of the famous Marx Brothers comedy team. The couple had been close friends and neighbors with Sinatra in Rancho Mirage until she left Marx for the singer in 1973.

Via Getty

The Sinatras

It was her third marriage, Sinatra’s fourth and the most enduring union for both spanning 22 years until the singer’s death in 1995. Frank Sinatra had previously been married to his teenage sweetheart Nancy Sinatra, Ava Gardner, who died in 1990; and Mia Farrow.

Before dating in 1973, Barbara and Frank were friends and neighbors for a long time. Frank and Barbara traveled together as a couple in the mid-’70s, and served as “the first lady of the house.”

As she recalled in her 2011 memoir, “Lady Blue Eyes: My Life With Frank Sinatra,” Frank didn’t ask her to marry him until she threatened to leave if he didn’t.

After Frank didn’t bite the threat, Barbara left in the spring of 1976. But Frank prepared a proposition and flew her to Chicago, where he placed a large diamond and emerald on the bed, and said, “You can have these set here in Chicago.”

“He decided to give it to me in champagne. He said, ‘Put it on,’ and I said, ‘No, you put it on,’ and I went like this (extending her fingers). I wanted to see if he’d put it on the right finger. And he did.”

Source: The Washington Post

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