Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Is Engaged

The Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, announced this week that she is engaged to be married. Her brother-in-law reportedly set the 50-year-old up last year with her soon-to-be husband.

Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg | Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images for Cannes Lions

Here’s what we know about the Lean In author’s fiancé and their wedding plans.

Her husband’s sudden death

Sandberg’s husband, David Goldberg, died suddenly at age 47 after suffering a heart attack on vacation with Sandberg in 2015. The couple had been vacationing in Punta Mita, Mexico in May of that year.

The SurveyMonkey CEO had gone to the resort’s gym and was found by his brother lying near a treadmill, bleeding from the back of his head.

Sheryl Sandberg with her husband, David Goldberg in 2013
Sheryl Sandberg with her husband, David Goldberg in 2013 | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

At first, police in Mexico reported that Goldberg had died from severe trauma to the head as well as significant blood loss after his collapse off of the treadmill he had been using.

It was confirmed later that Goldberg’s death was due to heart complications.

She wrote later in Option B, her book with Adam Grant, about when she had to break the news to her children of their father’s death.

“The screaming and crying that followed haunt me to this day. Nothing has come close to the pain of this moment. Even now when my mind wanders back, I shake and my throat constricts.”

Sheryl Sandberg’s public grief

Understandably, the technology executive was devastated by her husband’s death. Now on her own, she had to find her bearings and the strength for herself and her children.

She posted an emotional and visceral message on Facebook about suddenly becoming a single working mother of two. As her husband’s death had been publicly known, so now was her grief.

“I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning. . . And I know that many future moments will be consumed by the vast emptiness as well.”

“I have gained a more profound understanding of what it is to be a mother, both through the depth of the agony I feel when my children scream and cry and from the connection my mother has to my pain. She has tried to fill the empty space in my bed, holding me each night until I cry myself to sleep.”

Sandberg’s happy news

Yesterday, Sandberg joyfully announced on Instagram the news of her engagement to her boyfriend, Tom Bernthal.

“Engaged!!! @tom_bernthal, you are my everything. I could not love you more.”

The Option B author met Bernthal through her brother-in-law Rob Goldberg.

“Both of them have gone through loss, and just because you have gone through loss doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to happiness and joy again,” Rob Goldberg told People.

“They both came out of hard times of their lives still happy and motivated to make their lives better and their kids’ lives better.”

Bernthal proposed to Sandberg after a mountain hike and picnic lunch at Vermejo Park Ranch on Feb. 1, according to a friend of the couple. He shares three children with his ex-wife.