Nancy Sinatra Sr dead at 101: Frank Sinatra's first wife passes away

The first wife and childhood sweetheart of Frank Sinatra, Nancy, has died aged 101, her daughter has announced.

"My mother passed away peacefully tonight at the age of 101".

She also tweeted the news on Friday night, calling her mother "the light of my life".

After Sinatra became a pop-music sensation in the 1940s, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where the singer would also become a movie star, raconteur, man about town and notorious womanizer.

Nancy later left her husband after his affair with Ava Gardner emerged. They married in 1939 at a church in New Jersey, and as a wedding present, he gave her a record of a song called "Our Love" that he made for her.

Nancy Barbato Sinatra, the first wife of Frank Sinatra and mother of Nancy, Frank Jr.

Nancy's death comes just two years after they lost brother Frank Sinatra Jr after he passed away aged 72 following a heart attack. "He has a few times sought out Nancy Sinatra, even though she does not fit into the fast-moving, neurotic world he seems to prefer". She never re-married.

That latter accomplishment led Sinatra to leave him after an affair with actress Ava Gardner became public knowledge.

Nancy, who was born in 1917, was the first of Frank's four wives. Weeks after the pair's divorce became final in 1951, Sinatra's ex-husband married Gardner, while Sinatra went on to raise the couple's three children: Nancy, Frank Jr. and Tina.

The oldest of their three children is Nancy Sinatra Jr, who went on to have a successful singing career with hits such as "These Boots Are Made for Walkin" and "Something Stupid", a duet she sang with her father. Nancy outlived both Frank, who died in 1998, and her son, who died in 2016.

  • Marlene Weaver