Jon Bon Jovi is a certified rock star. He is best known as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983. Since then, he has released 15 studio albums with his band and some music as a solo artist. On top of that, he has also appeared in a handful of television shows and films, establishing himself as an actor as well.
While it’s clear that Jon has plenty of talents in the arts, he also has a heart of gold. In 2006, he founded The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which focuses its efforts on the issues of hunger and homelessness in the United States. Jon has also shown to have a genuine love for sports and was even the former majority owner of the Arena Football League team, the Philadelphia Soul. He also almost had partial ownership of the NFL team, the Buffalo Bills. However, Jon’s love life is yet another reason to adore this star. During a stop in Los Angeles on the Bon Jovi’ The New Jersey Syndicate Tour in 1989, Jon secretly skirted away to Las Vegas with his high school sweetheart Dorothea Hurley. There, the two eloped and haven’t looked back since.
This celebrity match made in heaven was heavily criticized over 30 years ago, though, when they first said vows. Fortunately, they’ve stayed together through it all. Jon has never regretted eloping with his wonderful wife, and the pair have been together for nearly 33 years. From eloping to Las Vegas on April 29, 1989, to launching a charitable foundation together, Jon and his wife Dorothea have defeated the odds stacked against them. Starting as high school sweethearts and then when Bon Jovi was launched into incredible success, Jon wanted to marry Dorothea spur of the moment, according to Men’s Health.
Married at the hands of an Elvis impersonator at the Graceland Wedding Chapel, the couple is still going strong and more in love than ever 32 years later. “We make it work,” Dorothea told PEOPLE.
However, not everyone was as thrilled about their lifelong commitment. Jon was finding great success in his career, but getting married made fans feel less connected to him as the desirable musician was suddenly completely unavailable. “When I came back from Vegas my manager was furious,” Jon said. “He was like, ‘America’s boy is now married… that’s not a good career move.’ The record company was also desponded.’”
Still, Jon has never regretted his decision to marry his high school sweetheart. “Looking back on it, the marriage was the greatest deal I ever made,” he said.
Fortunately, Bon Jovi continued to find great success together, and Jon also continued to make his mark in his solo endeavors. Even though Jon has tons of female fans swooning over him, it doesn’t seem to bother Dorothea.
“I think it’s great they love the music,” she said. “They love the band and are so loyal. Dorothea typically attends Bon Jovi concerts. “I usually stand on the side (during his concerts and watch,” she told PEOPLE. “The songs all sound great, but then you hear them live!” The couple has a beautiful life together. They have four children: one daughter named Stephanie and three sons named Jesse, Jacob, and Romeo. On top of that, Jon and his wife also run various charitable organizations. According to TODAY, the couple works together at their two Soul Kitchen restaurants, which help provide hot meals to those in need, and The Jon Bon Jovi Foundation, which focuses on affordable housing.
So, how do Jon and Dorothea juggle Jon’s busy career, their outstanding foundation, and raising four kids? According to TODAY, in Jon’s eyes, Dorothea is the reason their marriage is so successful.
“She’s the glue,” he said. “I’m the crazy visionary with all kinds of things flying, and the seams are splitting. She’s the one following me with the glue and the thread and needle, keeping it all together.” Jon also credited Dorothea as the brain behind the Soul Kitchen and the charities’ success. “My wife does all the work and I get all the credit,” he joked.
Through all of the ups and downs along the way, Jon and Dorothea have faithfully stood by each other’s side. “I don’t have a mistress on the side of another family across town,” Jon said. “You’re never going to read that story about me. I have no regard for that whole lifestyle.”
Nowadays, the couple is the perfect epitome of what a happy and successful marriage in Hollywood looks like and is going strong. “Somehow, I became the poster boy for a long married rock star,” Jon said. “But I’ll accept the mantle because I’m so happy.”