Sonny Bono

official U.S. Congress photo of Sonny Bono c. mid 1990s

Birth Name: Salvatore Phillip Bono

Date of Birth: February 16, 1935

Place of Birth: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Date of Death: January 5, 1998

Place of Death: Stateline, Nevada, U.S.

Ethnicity: Italian/Sicilian

Sonny Bono was an American singer, musician, songwriter, producer, actor, and politician. A Republican, he served as Mayor of Palm Springs, California, from April, 1988 to April, 1992, and as a U.S. Representative from California, from January 3, 1995 to January 5, 1998, his death. He was part of the singing duo Sonny & Cher, with Cher.

Sonny was the son of Zina (Dimercurio) and Santo Bono. His father was Sicilian, born in Montelepre, Province of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. His mother was born in Michigan, to Italian parents.

Sonny was married to politician Mary Bono (born Mary Whitaker), until his death. Mary was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for his district in California after his death, from April 7, 1998 to January 3, 2013. Sonny had a daughter with his former wife Donna Rankin; a son, advocate and musician Chaz Bono, with his former wife, singer Cher; and two children with Mary.

Sonny’s paternal grandfather was Salvatore/Sam Bono (the son of Salvatore Bono and Giuseppa/Iosepha Licari). Sonny’s grandfather Salvatore was born in Montelepre. Giuseppa was the daughter of Bernardo Licari and Petra/Pietra Troia.

Sonny’s paternal grandmother was named Elizabeth/Elisabetta/Elisabetti Pinello/Pianello. Elizabeth was born in Montelepre.

Sonny’s maternal grandfather was named Philip Demercurio/Dimercurio.

Sonny’s maternal grandmother was Francis/Frances Adragna (the daughter of Camilo Adragna and Josepha Costa).

Sources: Genealogy of Sonny Bono –

Immigration record of Sonny’s father –


Curious about ethnicity

1 Response

  1. andrew says:

    Sonny’s father was born in Montelepre, Province of Palermo, Sicily, Italy.

    Sonny’s paternal grandparents were Sam Bono and Elizabeth Pinello.

    Sonny’s maternal grandparents were Anthony La Valle and Francis

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