Dana York, Tom Petty’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Singer Tom Petty and wife Dana York arrive to The Midnight Mission’s 11th Annual Golden Heart Awards on May 9, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.

Legendary musician Tom Petty is “clinging to life” after he was found in “full cardiac arrest,” TMZ reported Monday.

Petty, 66, was found unconscious and not breathing at his home in Malibu, California on Sunday. The news outlet said emergency personnel who rushed to the scene were unable to find a pulse, and his condition was critical from the moment he was found and transported to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. He was later taken off life support at the hospital.

TMZ reported a chaplain was called to Petty’s hospital room Monday afternoon, and the family has a “do not resuscitate order” on him.

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Petty’s best known for his time with the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The singer, who sold over 80 million records in his lifetime, recently ended a nationwide tour with its last stop being at the Hollywood Bowl last Monday.

Petty was married twice in his life, most recently to 53-year-old Dana York Epperson. The couple met at one of Petty’s shows during the 1990s, but didn’t marry until over 10 years later.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Couple Met When She Attended One of His Concerts

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Musician Tom Petty and his wife Dana York arrive for a special screening at the Steven J. Ross Theater at Warner Bros. Studios of the film ”Concert for George” September 24, 2003 in Burbank, California.

Petty’s first marriage was to Jane Benyo. The two met when they were children and entered a romantic relationship with each other when they were teenagers. They subsequently got married on March 31, 1974, right before he started on his musical career.

However, Benyo eventually found her way into drugs — as did Petty — and the couple finalized their divorced on September 9, 1996.

According to The Daily Mail, Petty met York at a concert in Texas during in 1991, but they didn’t reconnect until 1996 when her divorce with her first husband was finalized.

“Tom and Dana both felt as though they had known each other their entire lives and were fast falling in love,” Daily Mail reported.

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2. Petty & York Were Married for Over 16 Years

Singer/musician Tom Petty his wife Dana York attend the Museum Gala 2007 at The American Museum of Natural History November 15, 2007 in New York City.

After many years of dating, Petty and York got married on June 3, 2001.

According to Rolling Stone, they got married after he had consecutive sold-out shows at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

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Their wedding was attended by “a few close family and friends” in what was described as a “low-key ceremony.” After the wedding, the “raucous” wedding guests went to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Vegas and celebrated.

Petty told PEOPLE that the first ceremony was just to “get the legal stuff out of the way.”

They also held a second wedding ceremony at their home in Malibu on June 21, 2001, PEOPLE Magazine reported in 2001. According to Salon, that ceremony was officiated by Little Richard.


3. Petty Credited York With ‘Saving’ Him When He When Through a Drug Addiction

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Tom Petty and his wife Dana York pose on arrival on the red carpet for the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on September 6, 2012 in California.

Arguably the lowest point of Petty’s career was when he got into drugs. Being a rock star, he admitted to dabbling into cocaine, but his heroin addiction is eventually what led him to get help.. In an autobiography of Petty’s life, he said that longtime friend and fellow musician Stevie Nicks had an “intense, firey” relationship with him, but the two were ended up as being lifelong friends.

Nicks said in the book that she would “never imagine, not in a million years that Tom Petty would start using heroin.”

But he did, and an addition to the drug followed. The autobiography said Petty didn’t want York to know about his drug use, so he’d often hide it from her. Eventually, though, she found out about it, and he credits her as being the person who ended up saving his life.

Petty was hospitalized when he admitted to a therapist that he was a drug addict, and York awaited him when he got through his addiction, he said in the book.

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4. York Is From Michigan & Worked in Education

Singer Tom Petty, his wife Dana York, Dylan Petty and guest arrive at the 11th Annual Golden Heart Awards at The Beverly Hilton hotel on May 9, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.

According to a 2013 article by MLive.com, York graduated in 1982 from Flushing High School in Michigan in 1982. The two would often come back to the Midwest state to visit York’s family for holidays.

In a 2005 Journal story, York said Petty would travel with her back to Genessee County, Michigan, where she grew up. The couple made visits to their mother’s home in Fenton for Thanksgiving.

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“I drove him around Flushing, by Flushing Park and the old house,” she said in the article. “It was pretty cool. It was snowing like crazy and deer were out. It was beautiful. It was pretty weird, because no one knew he was there.”

York was born in Flint, Michigan and worked in education. According to Daily Entertainment News, she was a principal at University High School in Ferndale, Michigan.


5. Petty & York Never Had Children Together

Singer Tom Petty and wife Dana Petty arrive to The Midnight Mission’s 11th Annual Golden Heart Awards on May 9, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.

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Though they were married or 16 years, Petty and York never had children together. Petty’s two children come from his marriage with Benyo. Petty and Benyo had two daughters: Adria and AnnaKim Violette. Adria is a film director while AnnaKim is an artist.

Dana also has a son named Dylan from her previous marriage, who could often be spotted at events with Petty and York.


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