Many rock stars came to us from the 80’s but none have turned out to be such a caring and giving man as Jon Bon Jovi. Now That’s The 80s has put together a tribute to his life and career showcasing his contributions to making the 80’s one of the most memorable decades ever!
He was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. on March 2, 1962 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
The son of two former Marines, barber John Francis Bongiovi, Sr. and Playboy Bunny turned florist Carol (Sharkey).
He has two brothers, Anthony and Matthew. His father was of Italian (from Sciacca, Sicily) and Slovak ancestry and his mother is of German and Russian descent. He has stated that he is a blood relative of singer Frank Sinatra. John (Jon) was raised Catholic. Shown here are: Jon Bon Jovi, brothers Matt and Antony and father John.
He spent summers in Erie, Pennsylvania, with his grandparents, and sold newspapers.
As a child, John attended St. Joseph High School, in Metuchen, New Jersey, during his freshman and sophomore years. He later transferred to Sayreville War Memorial High School in Parlin, New Jersey. John spent most of his adolescence skipping school to opt for music activities instead, and ended up playing in local bands with friends and his cousin Tony Bongiovi, who owned the then famous New York recording studio, The Power Station. As a result, his academic records displayed poor grades. By the time he was 16, John Bongiovi was playing clubs. It was not long before he joined up with keyboardist David Bryan.
When he was seventeen, Jon Bon Jovi was working sweeping floors at his cousin Tony Bongiovi’s recording studio. In 1980, when Meco was there recording Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album, Tony Bongiovi recommended him for the song “R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. This became his first professional recording (credited as John Bongiovi). During 1983 Jon Bon Jovi joined Scandal as a rhythm guitarist (briefly). He also appears during a demo recording of the music video for Scandal’s 1983 single “Love’s Got A Line On You” which reached #59 in the US.
His Music career
In June 1982, Jon Bon Jovi recorded a song called “Runaway”. The studio musicians who helped record “Runaway” – known as The All Star Review. He went to several record companies, including Atlantic Records and Mercury (PolyGram), but they all turned him down. Jon Bon Jovi visited major rock station WAPP 103.5FM “The Apple” in New York City. He spoke directly to the promotion director John Lassman, who accepted the song “Runaway” for inclusion on the station’s compilation album of local homegrown talent. “Runaway” became a local hit.
In 1983 he married Dorothea Hurley.
They have 4 children together: Jesse James Louis Bongiovi, Jacob Hurley Bongiovi, Stephanie Rose Bongiovi, Romeo Jon Bongiovi.
Jon Bon Jovi is a credited actor in many movies. Just to name a few: Moonlight and Valentino, The Leading Man, Destination Anywhere, Homegrown, Little City, No Looking Back, Row Your Boat, Vampires Los Muertos, U-571, Cry Wolf, National Lampoon’s Pucked, and New Year’s Eve. He also had a supporting role in the movie Pay It Forward, where he played Helen Hunt’s abusive ex-husband. He’s made many TV appearances on various shows.
Jon Bon Jovi has worked on behalf of the Special Olympics, the American Red Cross, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Covenant House, Project H.O.M.E., The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation (formerly the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation), and other groups. He has been named the first Founding Ambassador of the Habitat for Humanity Ambassador program as part of the international nonprofit organization’s new advocacy outreach initiative.
Bon Jovi’s voter registration indicates that he is unaffiliated. Jon receives CITY OF BROTHER LOVE Award. On December 15, 2010, Bon Jovi was appointed by Barack Obama to the new White House Council for Community Solutions. Bon Jovi’s efforts with his own The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in recent years have resulted in creative public/private partnerships as well as more than 260 units of affordable housing for low income individuals and families.
Still Going Strong
We’ve not seen or heard the last of Jon. His lifetime achievements are plentiful. Though born in the 60’s, it’s the 80’s that made him famous.