Sharkey is the daughter of Martha W. (née Ludwig) and Michael R. Sharkey. Her father was of Polish descent and her mother was of Swiss-German ancestry. She worked as a florist before enlisting in the United States Marines, where she met her future husband, fellow Marine John Francis Bongiovi, Sr. Sharkey is also a former Playboy Bunny.
On March 2, 1962, she gave birth to her son, John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. (AKA Jon Bon Jovi), in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. After he gained success during the 1980s with his band Bon Jovi, Sharkey became the president of his fan club. She continues to reside in New Jersey.
- "Jon Bon Jovi: How I became a poster boy for marriage". Independent.ie. 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- "Jon Bon Jovi: New hair, old roots". Telegraph. 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- Interview at the Wayback Machine (archived June 30, 2007) at Larry King, 16 August 2006
- ROHAN, VIRGINIA (September 25, 2011). "Leonia mom looks back on life as Playboy bunny". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
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