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Tony Bennett Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 1:16 PM EST, Thu February 13, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Tony Bennett arrives at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Singer Tony Bennett arrives at the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy)

(CNN) -- Here's a look at the life of Grammy-winning singer Tony Bennett, famous for his signature song "I Left my Heart in San Francisco."

Personal:
Birth date: August 3, 1926

Birth place: Queens, New York

Birth name: Anthony Dominick Benedetto

Father: John Benedetto, grocer

Mother: Anna (Suraci) Benedetto, garment worker

Marriages: Susan (Crow) Benedetto (2007-present); Sandra (Grant) Benedetto (1971-2007, divorced); Patricia (Beech) Benedetto (1952-1971, divorced)

Children: with Sandra (Grant) Benedetto: Antonia (1974); Joanna (1969); with Patricia (Beech) Benedetto: Daegal (1955); D'Andrea "Danny" (1954)

Military: U.S. Army, 1944-1946

Other Facts:
Bennett has been nominated for 32 Grammy awards and won 16. He has been nominated for three Emmy awards and won two.

During World War II, Bennett fought in France and Germany and participated in the liberation of a concentration camp. These experiences led Bennett to become a pacifist and anti-war activist.

Suffered from a drug problem in the 1970s.

Bennett is also an accomplished painter with artworks on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and other galleries.

His career is managed by his son, Danny, whom Bennett credits with stabilizing his finances and revitalizing his career.

Timeline:
1949 - He performs with entertainer Pearl Bailey at a New York City club and is discovered by Bob Hope. Hope suggests that he adopt the stage name Tony Bennett.

1950 - Signs with Columbia Records. Has a string of hits including chart-toppers "Because of You" and "Rags to Riches" in the early to mid-1950s.

1963 - Wins Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Solo Vocal Performance, Male for song "I Left my Heart in San Francisco."

March 1965 - Bennett marches with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights.

1970s - Bennett's popularity wanes and he is without a recording contract. He also battles drug and financial problems including a large debt owed to the IRS. His son, Danny, takes over as his manager.

1986 - Bennett re-signs with Columbia Records and begins to revitalize his career. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s he finds a new audience of young people and appears on shows such as Late Night with David Letterman and The Simpsons.

1993 - Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for album "Perfectly Frank."

1993 - Appears on stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the MTV Video Music Awards.

1994 - Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for album "Steppin' Out."

1995 - Wins Grammys for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance and Album of the Year for album "MTV Unplugged."

1996 - Wins an Emmy award for Outstanding Performance for a Variety or Musical Program for "Tony Bennett Live by Request: A Valentine Special."

1997 - Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for album "Here's to the Ladies."

1998 - Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for album "Tony Bennett on Holiday."

1999 - Bennett and his longtime partner, Susan Crow, establish the Exploring the Arts foundation. It's mission is "to strengthen the role of the arts in public high school education." The foundation works with 17 schools in New York City and Los Angeles.

2000 - Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for album "Bennett Sings Ellington - Hot & Cool."

2001 - The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a New York City school supported by Bennett's Exploring the Arts foundation, opens with 250 students.

2003 - Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for "Playin' With My Friends - Bennett Sings the Blues."

2004 - Bennett and k.d. lang win a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for "A Wonderful World."

2005 - Bennett is a Kennedy Center Honoree.

2006 - Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for "The Art of Romance."

2007 - Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for "Duets: An American Classic" and a Grammy along with Stevie Wonder for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for song "For Once in my Life."

2007 - Wins an Emmy award for Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program for "Tony Bennett: An American Classic."

2011 - Bennett's album, "Duets II," hits number one on the Billboard 200 chart, making him the oldest living artist to achieve that feat.

2012 - Wins a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for "Duets II" and a Grammy along with Amy Winehouse for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Body and Soul. "

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