Barbara Sinatra, former model and wife of the late Frank Sinatra, passed away today in Rancho Mirage, California. she was 90 years old. Sinatra died of natural causes, according to a family spokesman. She died comfortably surrounded by family and friends at her home. She is survived by her son Robert Oliver Marx, his wife Hillary Roberts, and her granddaughter Carina Blakeley Marx.
Born Barbara Blakeley in Bosworth, Missouri, Sinatra’s father Willis owned Blakeley’s General Store on Bosworth’s Main Street. At age 18, her family moved to Long Beach, California and shortly thereafter she married Robert Oliver and began her modeling career. Following her divorce from Oliver, she married Zeppo Marx in 1959 in Las Vegas, and they settled in Palm Springs, California. She became Frank Sinatra’s fourth and last wife in a private ceremony at the Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage in July of 1976.
Frank and Barbara Sinatra traveled the world for 26 years together until his death in 1998. After moving to Palm Springs in the late 1950s, Barbara began an illustrious journey as an activist especially for children. In 1985, with the support of her husband, Frank, 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 would also focus on prevention, community education and breaking the generational cycle of abuse.
Through her efforts, more than 20,000 children have received beneficial therapy at the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children, making it possible for them to cope with traumas associated with abuse.
Barbara Sinatra was a beloved community leader in the Palm Springs area for over 50 years and also maintained homes in Beverly Hills and Malibu, California.