In 1965 Tony Bennett marched alongside Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Junior, and thousands of others from Selma to Montgomery Alabama in support of civil rights for African Americans.
After the march, Viola Liuzzo, an activist volunteer from Michigan, took Mr. Bennett to the airport, but when she returned, she was murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
A lifelong liberal Democrat, Tony Bennett stood up for the poor and oppressed throughout his long and illustrious career and he made his cause known through his many appearances with notable leaders including Nelson Mandela, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Queen Elizabeth.
It was a different time back then and even though Bennett’s positions on social and cultural issues were well known, because he was so beloved throughout multiple generations, he was shielded from the criticism many celebrities receive nowadays for speaking out.
One of his last appearances before Alzheimer’s finally quieted his voice was with Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall in 2016 in a show called, “One Last Time”.
Listening to "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" will never quite be the same.
Tony Bennett died this morning in New York City at the age of 96.