Former model, humanitarian, and wife of the late music legend Frank Sinatra, Barbara passed away on July 25 at age 90.
Sinatra died comfortably of natural causes, surrounded by family and friends at her home in Rancho Mirage, California, a family spokesman said. She is survived by her son Robert Oliver Marx, daughter-in-law Hillary Roberts, and granddaughter Carina Blakeley Marx.
Born Barbara Blakeley in Bosworth, Missouri, Sinatra began her modeling career as a teenager after moving to Long Beach, California with her family in the 1950s, later meeting and marrying Ol’ Blue Eyes at a private ceremony in Rancho Mirage in 1976. She was the icon’s fourth and final wife. At the time of his death from a heart attack in 1998, the couple had been married for 22 years — making their marriage his longest.
Sinatra was also as an activist on behalf of abused children, working alongside her husband to raise money to found a facility to provide counselling services to younger people suffering from physical, sexual, and emotional trauma. She went on to open Rancho Mirage’s Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center in 1985, which assisted more than 20,000 child victims under the age of 18, all of whom received “beneficial therapy… making it possible for them to cope with traumas associated with abuse,” according to a statement.
Her roles as the chairwoman of the Board of Directors and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Princess Grace Foundation, saw Sinatra travelling the world as a keynote speaker in the U.K, Australia, Canada, Italy, and domestically.
The former model co-wrote a memoir, Lady Blue Eyes… My Life with Frank, with Wendy Holden, which was based on her early life, her adventures with her husband, and her philanthropic pursuits.