Perry Como was born into an Italian immigrant family in 1912, the seventh son of a seventh son. He took music lessons on different instruments as a child but never had voice lessons.
His first career choice was to follow the family tradition and become a barber, gaining popularity when he booked wedding parties and became a true "singing barber".
Perry and Roselle married in 1933. Perry was singing with a travelling band when Roselle gave birth to their first child. Threatened with dismissal from the band if he left to be with his wife at the birth, he never hesitated and flew to Roselle's side when Ronnie was born.
Perry left the band shortly afterwards, deciding a life on the road was not the life for a family. He was just about to sign a lease to open a new barber shop when he received an offer for a radio show with CBS and a recording contract.
While he considered the offer, Roselle advised him to take it, saying , "You can always get another barber shop if it doesn't work out!"
His career took off then, with radio shows, his own television show and a string of hits. He was declared "Crooner of the year" in 1943. He won multiple Emmys, Grammys, and has three stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Perry believed in good manners, good deeds, and good taste and was respected for his stand on his values.
Perry and Roselle had two more children, David and Terry, adopted, as Roselle was not able to bear more children after Ronnie.
Perry loved his work and he loved his family He once said, "I'd perform with the world's greatest artists, and then come home to the world's greatest family."
He believed his private life should remain just that, private, and rarely talked about his family in interviews. There was never a whiff of scandal or impropriety in his long marriage to Roselle.
He once said ”People ask me how I could be married so long to the same woman. You have to work at understanding each other. I don’t think there is a man alive who has had fewer arguments than my wife and I.”
When Roselle died in 1998 at the age of 84, they had been married for 65 years. After her death Perry's own health deteriorated quickly. Reports said he was beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's. He died less than three years afterwards in 2001.
Perry and Roselle are both buried at Riverside Memorial Park in Florida.