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Sonny Bono

  • Original Name Salvatore Phillip
  • Birth 16 Feb 1935 Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
  • Death 5 Jan 1998 Stateline, Douglas County, Nevada, USA
  • Burial Cathedral City, Riverside County, California, USA
  • Plot B-35, #294
  • GPS
  • Memorial ID 2312

Entertainer, US Congressman. Until the early 1960s, he had a job delivering meat along the Sunset Strip in California. He became an A&R Man for Phil Spector. Working with people such as Sam Cooke, and Chubby Checker, and writing songs such as ‘Baby Don't Go', and ‘Don't Laugh At Me' Bono achieved his highest level of fame in the entertainment field with his second wife Cheriln Sarkisian LaPierre. It was at Aldo's Italian Restaurant in Hollywood in 1961 that Sonny met a very young Cher and they married in 1964. Destined to become one of the most famous duos in music history, the couple recorded songs under the name Cesar and Cleo and finally, Sonny and Cher. Their weekly variety television show ran from 1972 until 1974. A daughter, Chastity, was born on March 04, 1969. After his marriage with Cher ended in 1974 Sonny appeared in movies such as ‘Hairspray', and ‘First Kid' and he was a guest star on many television shows. Sonny had a short lived third marriage to Susie Coelho. In May of 1982 he married Mary Whitaker. In February 1983 he opened a restaurant, Bono's in Los Angeles. A restaurant in Palm Springs followed in 1986. It was during a dispute with City Hall over a building permit needed for his Palm Springs restaurant that Bono became interested in politics. He set out to become the Mayor of Palm Springs so that he could help to change the bureaucracy. He served as Mayor from 1988-1992. In 1990 he formed the Palm Springs International Film Festival. A run for The US Senate in 1991 was not successful, however in November of 1994 he was elected to Congress to serve the 44th District of California. A son, Chesare Elan was born in 1988 and a daughter, Chianna Maria was born in 1991. Additionally, in 1991 he released his autobiography And The Beat Goes On, using the name of one of the hit songs he had written. During his tenure in Congress he was appointed Speaker of the House to chair The Entertainment Industry Task Force. He was well known for his outspoken and often blunt opinions of the policies and issues in which he was involved. He worked to achieve federal aid to preserve habitats of various endangered species. The Sonny Bono Memorial Salton Sea Reclamation Act (HR 3267) was formed in recognition of his efforts to preserve the sea. He was killed at the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe after he collided with a tree. After his death his widow, Mary Bono, was appointed to fill her late husbands Congressional Seat and in November 2002 she was re-elected to serve a third term.

Bio by: Julie Karen Hancock (Cooper) Jackson


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AND THE BEAT GOES ON


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2312
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sonny Bono (16 Feb 1935–5 Jan 1998), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2312, citing Desert Memorial Park, Cathedral City, Riverside County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .