Barbara Sinatra, a former Las Vegas showgirl, famed philanthropist and widow of singer Frank Sinatra, died at her home in Rancho Mirage, California, on Tuesday, July 25. She was 90.
“She died comfortably surrounded by family and friends at her home,” Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center director John Thoresen confirmed to The Desert Sun. According to the outlet, Barbara died of natural causes after months of declining health.
The former model wed Frank in July 1976 and was the last of his four wives, following Nancy Barbato, Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow. The couple were married for nearly 22 years — Frank’s longest marriage — until the “My Way” crooner died of a heart attack at age 82 in May 1998.
With the help of her husband’s fundraising influence, Barbara founded the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center on the Eisenhower Medical Center campus in Rancho Mirage in 1986. The facility provides counseling services for abused and neglected children.
The Missouri native was actively involved with the center until as recently as 2016, and continued to host galas, luncheons and the annual Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament.
“Barbara started raising funds for [the center] in 1985 with Frank’s support,” Thoresen told The Desert Sun. “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.”
Barbara is survived by her only child, Robert, whom she shared with her first husband, Robert Oliver. She later wed Zeppo Marx of the famous Marx Brothers comedy family before her marriage to Frank.
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