What To Know About Tony Bennett's Wife, Susan Benedetto

The late iconic vocalist Tony Bennett married his third wife, Susan Benedetto, in 2007. Before she married, Benedetto's last name was Crow, and she opted to change her name to Bennett's real surname rather than the singer's stage name. While there was a 40-year-age difference between them, it wasn't an obstacle for the couple. "We don't notice it much now," Tony told Entertainment Tonight in 2016. "We're compatible in all ways."

Before they married, Bennett and Benedetto had been together for over two decades, although the singer technically met his future wife much earlier. In 1966, Bennett serendipitously posed for a photo op with his future in-laws, Dayl and Marion Crow, while Marion was pregnant with Benedetto. In 1985, when Benedetto was 19, she served as president of the San Francisco branch of Bennett's fan club. When he came to the area to perform, Benedetto got the singer's permission to meet him after the show. "It tickled me that someone of her age was so devoted to my music," he wrote in his book "Just Getting Started," per ET. "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." Romance bloomed for the pair, and they started seeing each other soon after.

Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto founded an arts education nonprofit

Tony Bennett's wife, Susan Benedetto, has spent her career working in education and the arts. After graduating from Fordham University and Columbia University's Teachers College, Benedetto worked as a social studies teacher in New York City at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts. In 1999, the couple partnered to create Exploring the Arts, a nonprofit that promotes arts education. Two years later, they founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, an arts-focused high school named after Bennett's late best friend, Frank Sinatra. Susan then went on to teach social studies at the school and serve as Assistant Principal.

In addition to supporting the Frank Sinatra School, Bennett and Benedetto's nonprofit expanded to assist 56 schools in providing artistic, educational opportunities. "We intentionally expanded to schools serving low-income students, for whom the "achievement gap" is all-too-real," Benedetto wrote for HuffPost in 2013. "While we know that an arts-enriched curriculum will not enable these schools to surmount every challenge they face, we fully believe in the arts' ability to inspire student engagement and build community within these schools."

Susan Benedetto cared for Tony Bennett after his Alzheimer's diagnosis

In 2016 Tony Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, although Susan Benedetto and the rest of his family didn't share the news publicly until 2021. Gayatri Devi, M.D., Tony's physician, told AARP in 2021 that Bennett was experiencing "cognitive issues, but multiple other areas of his brain are still resilient and functioning well." At that time, she credited Benedetto, who was Tony's primary caregiver, with helping and supporting the legendary singer as he dealt with the degenerative illness. "I've been humbled by the level of devotion," Dr. Devi observed. "[Susan] also expects a lot from him. I think her background as a teacher helps, but she's also very much in love with him. And he rises to her expectations."

For her part, Benedetto took Bennett's diagnosis in stride. "I signed up for better or for worse. If somebody has to take care of him, I want it to be me," she told "CBS Mornings." "There is nothing that gives me greater joy or greater pride than [the fact] that I'm able to be with him and take care of him," she added, calling her husband "a national treasure." After Bennett retired in 2021, Benedetto also supported the singer by participating in interviews with him. A month before his death, the couple posted a picture on Instagram wearing purple in support of Alzheimer's Awareness month. 

Susan Benedetto and Lady Gaga worked to support Tony Bennett's singing

In 2014 Lady Gaga began a close friendship with Tony Bennett when the two singers worked together on the album "Cheek to Cheek." In 2021, the pair did their final performance together for a TV special, "One Last Time." Gayatri Devi, M.D., Bennett's neurologist, recommended he keep singing to benefit his brain health. Bennett's singing also helped Susan Benedetto cope as a caregiver. "There's a lot about him that I miss," she explained to AARP in 2021. "But when he sings, he's the old Tony."

Both Benedetto and Gaga were mutually grateful for each other's support while Bennett continued singing. "Gaga is wonderful," Benedetto informed "CBS Mornings" in 2021, noting that her husband was still able to remember the singing sensation. When Bennett and Gaga's special debuted on TV, Gaga posted a tribute to Benedetto. "The real 'Lady' of the hour is Susan Benedetto, Tony's remarkable wife. Thank you, Susan, for how you love @itstonybennett," she wrote on Instagram. "I love you and Tony and the whole family so much."

Benedetto and Gaga also shared common ground in their caregiving for Tony during his Alzheimer's diagnosis. In 2018, when she was concerned that her husband might not be able to record a new album with Gaga, Benedetto was committed to giving it a shot. Gaga helped by encouraging Bennett throughout the process. "[Gaga] watches his back all the time," Bennett's son Danny told AARP.