Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born on August 3, 1926 at St. John’s Hospital in Long Island City, Queens, NY. He is the son of grocer John Benedetto and seamstress Anna Suraci, and was the first member of his family to be born in a hospital. His father John had emigrated from Podàrgoni, a rural eastern district of the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria. Anna had been born in the U.S. shortly after her parents also emigrated from the Calabria region in 1899.
Raised in Astoria to an Italian-American family, The essence of his longevity and high artistic achievement was imbued in him in his loving, childhood home in the Astoria section of Queens where he was born on August 3, 1926. His father died when Tony was 10 and his mother, Anna, raised Tony and his older brother and sister, John and Mary, in a home surrounded by loving relatives who were Tony’s first fans, filling him with encouragement and optimism. He attended the High School of Industrial Arts in Manhattan, where he continued nurturing his two passions: singing and painting. From the radio, he developed a love of music hearing Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and James Durante.
Bennett began singing at an early age, known professionally as Tony Bennett, an Italian American singer. He is also a painter, having created works under his birth name that are on permanent public display in several institutions. He is the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, New York.
No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett. In the last ten years alone he has sold ten million records.