Who Is Tony Bennett's Wife? All About Susan Benedetto

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Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto married in 2007 after 20 years together

Myrna M. Suarez/Getty
Myrna M. Suarez/Getty

Tony Bennett and his wife, Susan Benedetto, had a decades-long romance.

The pair first met in the late 1980s after one of the singer's concerts. They were together for more than 20 years before marrying in an intimate ceremony in 2007. Following the wedding, Susan took her husband's legal surname, Benedetto, instead of his professional stage name.

Tony was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016, and Susan stepped in as his primary caregiver in addition to her continued arts education charity work. Despite the diagnosis, Susan said her husband remained in good spirits at the time.

"He is doing so many things, at 94, that many people without dementia cannot do. He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder," she told AARP The Magazine.

At 96 years old, Bennett died in July 2023, his rep confirmed to PEOPLE. Susan later told TODAY that his final words for her were, "That he loved me. He would wake up every day and still say that."

So, who is Tony Bennett's longtime love? Keep reading for everything there is to know about Susan Benedetto and her relationship with the legendary singer.

She's a former teacher

Frank Micelotta/Getty
Frank Micelotta/Getty

Susan is a graduate of Fordham University and Columbia University's Teachers College. She began teaching social studies at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, a public high school in New York City.

Before working as an educator, she was the owner of Creative Artists Management in Manhattan, which advised artists in the management of their careers.

Her mother met Tony when she was pregnant with Susan

In his 2016 memoir Just Getting Started, Tony wrote about his first encounter with his future wife, which happened to be when her mother was pregnant with her. Susan's parents, Marion and Dayl Crow, were fans of the singer and attended one of his shows in 1966 in N.Y.C. and were able to pose backstage for a picture with Tony.

"As fate would have it, Marion was pregnant at the time with … Susan!" Tony wrote. "It's a photo we all laugh about, knowing the incredible turn of events that followed."

She used to be in charge of a fan club for Tony

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection

The love that Susan's parents had for the award-winning singer was passed on to her, and she even became the president of Tony's fan club in the San Francisco area as a teenager, as he explained in his book.

At age 19, she was able to meet her future husband after requesting to meet him backstage following a show.

"It tickled me that someone of her age was so devoted to my music," Tony shared in his memoir. "I not only agreed to say hello to her backstage but asked her to be my date for the evening, and that's how it all really began, foreshadowed by a backstage photo taken in 1966!"

She co-founded an arts nonprofit with Tony

In 1999, Tony and Susan founded Exploring the Arts together, which promotes and supports arts education through more than 50 school partnerships in New York and Los Angeles.

In an op-ed published by the Huffington Post, Susan wrote about working with her husband on the joint pursuit. "I happen to be one of those lucky people who can honestly say that dreams do come true. Being able to work with my husband, Tony Bennett, has been one such dream," she wrote. "Together we founded a nonprofit organization, Exploring the Arts (ETA), to transform the lives of young people through arts education."

They got married after more than 20 years together

Paul Redmond/WireImage
Paul Redmond/WireImage

After over 20 years together, the couple married in a private civil ceremony in N.Y.C. on June 21, 2007.

One week after the wedding, Susan told PEOPLE that there was no exact reason for tying the knot. "We just decided to do it," she said. "It was just one of those things."

Though they kept the wedding small, she shared that there was no shortage of romance in the air, and that "just being together" was the best part of the day. "The fact that we could just do it on our own the way we wanted to be was perfect," she added.

She and Tony also co-founded a high school

Mike Coppola/FilmMagic
Mike Coppola/FilmMagic

In addition to their charitable organization, the couple opened the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts together in 2001, located in Tony's hometown of Astoria in the Queens borough of N.Y.C. Susan worked as a social studies teacher and later served as the assistant principal at the school.

Named for the late singer who was a friend of Tony's, the public high school is dedicated to teaching the performing arts.

In 2010, the charitable couple were honored with the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award for their work in arts education.

She was Tony's primary caregiver

In February 2021, Susan confirmed to AARP The Magazine that the singer had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016.

She explained that her husband was "not always sure where he is or what is happening around him" and that "mundane objects as familiar as a fork or a set of house keys can be utterly mysterious to him."

"It's no fun arguing with someone who doesn't understand you," Susan added. "But I feel badly talking about it because we are so much more fortunate than so many people with this diagnosis. We have such a good team. Danny [Tony's son] handles Tony's business affairs. We have great doctors."

Susan opened up about her husband's Alzheimer's diagnosis again during an October 2021 interview for 60 Minutes. "He recognizes me, thank goodness, his children, you know we are blessed in a lot of ways," Susan told Anderson Cooper. "He's very sweet."

She added of his final stage performance, "Tony likes to say he's in the business of making people feel good, and he still is."

She thinks Lady Gaga is "wonderful"

Kevin Mazur/Getty
Kevin Mazur/Getty

Lady Gaga has been a close friend and longtime musical collaborator of Tony's, and in the years since working together, Gaga has also grown close to Susan. Despite his Alzheimer's diagnosis, Susan shared that her husband still remembers the House of Gucci star.

"Yes, but you know, Gaga is wonderful," Susan said during an interview with Gayle King for CBS This Morning. "Most definitely. Gaga is hard to forget."

Following the duo's six Grammy Award nominations in November 2021 for their second joint album, Love for Sale, a Cole Porter tribute album, Gaga spoke about her bond with the couple.

"I love his family with all my heart, I love his wife, Susan, with all my heart. I can't tell you how much I learned from him and what it's like to sing with a legend for so many years," she said during an appearance on BBC Radio 2's The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.

She paid tribute to Tony after his death in July 2023

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p>

Kevin Mazur/Getty

After living with Alzheimer's disease for years, Tony died on July 21, 2023, at the age of 96.

"Thank you to all the fans, friends and colleagues of Tony’s who celebrated his life and humanity and shared their love of him and his musical legacy,” Susan said in a joint statement with Bennett’s son Danny Bennett on Instagram. "From his first performances as a singing waiter in Queens to his last performances in 2021 at Radio City Music Hall, Tony delighted in performing the songs he loved and making people happy. And as sad as today has been for all of us we can find joy in Tony’s legacy forever.”

Shortly after Tony's death, Susan spoke with PEOPLE.

"Benedetto, his family name, which I made my own when we married, means 'the blessed one,' and I was most certainly blessed to have Tony in my life," she said.

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