Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love by David Talbot:
During the 1950s and early 1960s, San Francisco had a blossoming but largely secret gay life. Indeed, the song that would become the city’s anthem, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” was written in 1954 by two gay lovers who were pining for “the city by the bay” after moving to Brooklyn Heights. Tony Bennett made the song famous, singing it for the first time at the Fairmont Hotel’s Venetian Room in December 1961, with future mayor Joe Alioto in the audience. By then, the songwriters—Douglass Cross and George Cory—had moved back to the Bay Area, where Cross died of a heart attack and a grief-stricken Cory later took his own life.