Dana York Was Tom Petty’s Wife For 16 Years – Inside Their Marriage Bliss And Struggles

The unexpected demise of the famous rock and roll legend Tom Petty on October 2, 2017, shook the music industry. He passed away due to excessive intake of prescription drugs. Since he died, there has been lots of inquiries by curious fans and lovers of the rock genre, looking to learn all there is to know about the life of the icon. Such inquiries have led to a growing interest in his wife, Dana York.

She notably put out a 911 call after Petty had the heart attack that eventually led to his death at UCLA Medical Centre in Santa Monica, California. We answered some of the questions and everything else you need to know about their marriage.

Dana York’s Life Before Tom Petty

Dana York was born in 1964 in Flint, Michigan but spent most of her childhood and Teenage years in Genessee County, Michigan. She is an American by nationality and belongs to the white ethnic group. Dana attended Flushing High School and graduated in 1982.

Although life has taken her far away from Michigan, her mother, whose name remains unknown, lives in Fenton, Michigan. She furthered her education and worked as an educator at the University High School in Ferndale, Michigan, for several years. Due to her numerous contributions to the school, she eventually became the principal.

After she got married to Tom Petty, Dana resigned from her role as principal. She transitioned to managing her husband and his band’s schedule.

She May Have Inherited A Substantial Net Worth

Being married to a famous musical genius comes with several perks, some of which are living in vast lush mansions and, driving flashy cars. It also includes travelling to several exotic destinations and of course, having a fat bank account.

While we are well aware of all her luxuries, one thing that is very much unknown about Dana York is her net worth. Nonetheless, her late husband was known to have an estimated net worth of $95 million before his demise.

While the expectation is she got some of his wealth after he passed, we have been unable to determine the exact amount.

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Inside Her 16-year Marriage to Tom Petty And The Aftermath Of His Death

When Dana York met Tom Petty for the first time in 1991, she was married and was just a woman who lived like every average American. Everything changed in 1996 following her divorce from her husband. Coincidentally, Tom Petty and his wife Jane Benyo would put an end to their 22 years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences fueled by their addiction to narcotics.

Both fresh out of their marriages, Dana and Tom’s path crossed again in 1996, and this time they found it easy to connect since they were both lonely and heartbroken. Within a short while, they began dating officially and would go on to date for six years.

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On June 3, 2001, they tied the knot in a private wedding ceremony attended by a few friends and family members; the event happened at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. A few weeks after their wedding, they held a second marriage ceremony in their home in Malibu, which was officiated by Little Richard.

For the next sixteen years, their marriage would serve as a model to other Hollywood stars because they remained together even when Tom Petty’s usage of narcotics skyrocketed. At some point, Petty acknowledged Dana’s contributions to helping him curb his habits of excessive drug use.

Although her marriage with Tom Petty lasted for 16 years, they never had any child together. Nevertheless, Tom had two daughters from his previous marriage with Jane Benyo; they go by the names Adria Petty and Kimberly Violette Petty. Likewise, Dana has a son from her previous marriage; he goes by the name Dylan.

She Tried to Keep Tom Petty’s Legacy Still Going

A year after the death of her husband, she partnered with his bandmates, producers, and both of his daughters to pay tribute to him by releasing a masterpiece of his greatest hits to keep his legacy alive. The plan was to release a Greatest Hits album, and a reissue of Petty’s 1994 solo LP, Wildflowers. Unfortunately, a legal tussle with his daughters initially stopped the plan in its tracks.

Since he passed, Dana York has worked with his management team to release two compilation albums – An American Treasure and The Best of Everything. Both of them reached Top 20 on the US Billboard 200. The Best of Everything is the greatest hits album released after Dana came to an agreement with his daughters.

She Fought a Legal Battle with Petty’s Daughters Over His Estate

Dana York
Dana, Petty, and his daughters: image source

Dana has a strained relationship with her late husband’s daughters. In April 2019, she filed a lawsuit against both of them, claiming they were obstructing her from managing his estate. In retaliation, Adria filed a lawsuit against their father’s widow, claiming that Dana intends to keep her and her sister away from being part of the decision-makers in managing the estate as stipulated in their father’s will.

Finally, after months of protracted battle, Dana York and the singer’s daughters settled. The trio announced the settlement in December 2019, and the subsequent formation of Tom Petty Legacy LLC. They will have an equal share of the company.

Dana York Tried One Last Time to Save Tom Petty’s Life

Dana York is no stranger when it comes to drug abuse as her father was an addict. It was her early exposure to drug abuse that made her stick with Tom Petty even when she found out about his substance abuse problems. At a point, she succeeded in keeping the musician away from his habit of drug use, but her victory was short-lived.

On the day that Tom Petty collapsed due to his continuous abuse of prescription drugs, Dana York performed a CPR to revive him before the arrival of the ambulance, but it failed.

Dana York
Dana with Petty at a basketball game during their last years together: image source

It was a last ditched effort to save his life. Dana’s efforts and the arrival of EMTs were enough to keep him alive for a trip to UCLA Medical Center.

However, later in the day while at the hospital, Tom Petty eventually passed away. After his death, Dana acknowledged in an interview that Tom Petty had multiple medical problems. Dana and the family organized a memorial service for him at Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, in Pacific Palisades.

Samuel Daniel
Samuel Daniel
Samuel is a researcher and content creator who is deeply passionate about writing and singing. His expertise is in finance, celebrity profiles and net worth, creative writing, fictional character development, as well as article writing, revolving around exciting names in the world of entertainment, sports and business. Previously, he has worked as Sports and Foreign news correspondent, and voice-over expert with NTA as well as a reporter and deputy news editor for orientation broadcast studio. He holds a B.Sc in Mass Communications


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