Francis Albert Sinatra was a singer and actor from the United States. Sinatra, known as the "Chairman of the Board" and later as Ole's Blue Eyes, was a prominent singer during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. With an estimated 150 million record sales, he is one of the world's best-selling musicians.
Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants, Sinatra was highly influenced by Bing Crosby's intimate, easy-listening vocal style. He began his musical career in the swing era with bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. After signing with Columbia Records in 1943, he earned popularity as a solo performer and became the idol of the "bobby soxers." In 1946, Sinatra released his debut album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra. When his film career hit a snag in the early 1950s, Sinatra relocated to Las Vegas, becoming one of the city's most well-known residency performers and a member of the infamous Rat Pack.
His acting career was revived by the 1953 film From Here to Eternity, which earned Sinatra an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Sinatra then signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums, some of which were later considered as among the first "concept albums," including In the Wee Small Hours (1955), Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956), Come Fly with Me (1958), Only the Lonely (1958), No One Cares (1959), and Nice 'n' Easy (1960).
Sinatra left Capitol in 1960 to launch his own record label, Reprise Records, and a succession of successful records followed. He released the retrospective album September of My Years in 1965, and he starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music. Following the release of Sinatra at the Sands, recorded at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with frequent collaborator Count Basie in early 1966, he recorded one of his most renowned collaborations with Tom Jobim, Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim, the following year.
It was followed by Francis A. & Edward K. with Duke Ellington in 1968. Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971 but returned to the stage two years later. He released "New York, New York" in 1980, after recording many albums and resuming his performance at Caesars Palace. Using his Las Vegas concerts as a base, he toured throughout the United States and worldwide until he died in 1998.
Sinatra forged a highly successful career as a film actor. After winning an Academy Award for From Here to Eternity, he starred in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Sinatra also appeared in musicals such as On the Town (1949), Guys and Dolls (1955), High Society (1956), and Pal Joey (1957), which won him another Golden Globe. Toward the end of his career, he frequently played detectives, including the title character in Tony Rome (1967).
In 1971, Sinatra got the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award. The Frank Sinatra Show debuted on CBS in 1950, and he continued to appear on television throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Beginning in the mid-1940s, Sinatra became intensely interested in politics, vigorously campaigning for presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. The FBI investigated him for his potential involvement with the mafia.
Sinatra never learned to read music, but he worked hard from a young age to improve his ability in all parts of music. Sinatra, a perfectionist, known for his flair and presence, insisted on recording live with his band. His personal life was colourful, and he was involved in stormy romances, including his second marriage to Ava Gardner. In 1966, he married Mia Farrow, and in 1976, he married Barbara Marx. Sinatra had multiple violent encounters, frequently with journalists who he believed had crossed him or with work managers with whom he disagreed.
Sinatra received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan in 1985, and the Congressional Gold Medal from Congress in 1997. Eleven Grammy Awards were bestowed upon him, including the Grammy Trustees Award, the Grammy Legend Award, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Sinatra was named one of Time magazine's 100 most important persons of the twentieth century. Following his death, American music critic Robert Christgau dubbed Sinatra "the greatest vocalist of the twentieth century," and he remains an iconic figure.
Nancy (born 1940), Frank Jr. (1944-2016), and Tina (born 1948) Sinatra had three children with his first wife, Nancy Sinatra (née Barbato, 1917-2018), to whom he was married from 1939 to 1951.
Sinatra met Barbato in the summer of 1934 while working as a lifeguard in Long Branch, New Jersey. He consented to marry her following an incident at "The Rustic Cabin" that resulted in his incarceration. Sinatra had multiple extramarital affairs, with information revealed in gossip publications about affairs with Marilyn Maxwell, Lana Turner, and Joi Lansing.
From 1951 to 1957, Sinatra was married to Hollywood actress Ava Gardner. It was a tumultuous marriage with numerous public confrontations and altercations. On October 29, 1953, the couple announced their divorce through MGM. Gardner filed for divorce in June 1954, while dating matador Luis Miguel Domingun, but the divorce was not finalised until 1957. Sinatra's feelings for her remained strong, and they remained lifelong friends. In 1976, he was still working on her finances.
Sinatra allegedly ended engagements with Lauren Bacall in 1958 and Juliet Prowse in 1962. He had intimate relationships with Pat Sheehan, Vikki Dougan, and Kipp Hamilton. On July 19, 1966, he married Mia Farrow in a brief marriage that ended in divorce in Mexico in August 1968. They remained lifelong friends, and Farrow revealed in a 2013 interview that Sinatra could be the father of her son Ronan Farrow (born in 1987). Nancy Sinatra denied the notion as "nonsense" in a 2015 CBS Sunday Morning interview. From 1976 until his death, Sinatra was married to Barbara Marx. On July 11, 1976, the pair married at Sunnylands, the residence of media billionaire Walter Annenberg in Rancho Mirage, California.
Jilly Rizzo, singer Jimmy Van Heusen, golfer Ken Venturi, comedian Pat Henry, and baseball manager Leo Durocher were all close friends of Sinatra's. He enjoyed listening to classical music in his spare time and attending concerts when he could. He swam in the Pacific Ocean every day, finding it therapeutic and providing him with much-needed privacy. He frequently played golf with Venturi at the Palm Springs course where he lived, and he enjoyed painting, reading, and making model railways.
Though Sinatra had previously been sceptical of the Church and held a pantheistic, Einsteinian conception of God, he was inducted into the Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 1976, and he turned to Catholicism for healing when his mother died in a plane crash in 1977. He died as a practising Catholic and was buried as such.
Legacy and Honors
Sinatra was dubbed "the greatest singer of the twentieth century" by Robert Christgau. Only Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson are more popular. According to Santopietro, Sinatra was the "best male pop vocalist in the history of America," with "exceptional power onscreen and off," and "seemed to symbolize the common man, an ethnic twentieth-century American male who reached the 'top of the heap,' yet never lost his roots."
According to Santopietro, Sinatra established his own world that he was able to dominate-his career was centered on power, honing the capacity to attract an audience. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Sinatra was "frequently acclaimed as the greatest American vocalist of twentieth-century popular music....Through his life and art, he surpassed the rank of mere icon to become one of the most identifiable emblems of American culture."
According to Gus Levene, Sinatra's strength was that when it came to lyrics, and telling a story musically, Sinatra demonstrated a "genius" talent and feeling, which along with the "unique mix of voice and showmanship" made him the "original vocalist" that most who followed aspired to copy. Sinatra possessed a "charisma, or whatever it is about him, that no one else had," according to George Roberts, a trombonist in Sinatra's band.
On October 30, 1947, Sinatra was granted the Key to the City of Hoboken by Mayor Fred M. De Sapio. In his honor, the city's main post office was rededicated in 2003. A bronze plaque honors the location of Sinatra's birthplace, which was installed two years before his death in 1998. There is also a commemorative plaque in front of the Hoboken Historical Museum, which houses mementos from his life and offers Sinatra walking tours of the city. The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway runs parallel to Frank Sinatra Drive. Frank Sinatra Park, located on the waterfront, was dedicated in 1989 with a bronze plaque.
On December 12, 2021, the day of Sinatra's birthday in 1915, a 6-foot (1.8 m) tall bronze statue of Sinatra was unveiled in Frank Sinatra Park. In his honour, a residence hall at Montclair State University in New Jersey was named after him. The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens, the Frank Sinatra International Student Center at Israel's Hebrew University in Jerusalem, dedicated in 1978, and the Frank Sinatra Hall at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, California, dedicated in 2002, are all named after Sinatra. Encore Las Vegas, a Wynn Resorts property, has a Sinatra-themed restaurant that opened in 2008.
There are multiple streets and roads named after Frank Sinatra in various locations around the United States, such as the Frank Sinatra Drive between Cathedral City and Palm Desert in California, and a road in Las Vegas along the Las Vegas Strip is also named after him.
Frank Sinatra's accolades, gold records, and other personal things are displayed at USC's Frank Sinatra Hall in Los Angeles, as well as at Wynn Resort's Sinatra restaurant in Las Vegas. During his lifetime, Sinatra got three honorary degrees. He was invited to speak at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) graduation ceremony held at Sam Boyd Stadium in May 1976. The university bestowed upon him an Honorary Doctorate litterarum humanarum at this commencement.
Sinatra died on May 14, 1998, at the age of 82, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, with his wife by his side, after suffering two heart attacks. During the latter few years of his life, Sinatra was in poor health and was regularly hospitalised for heart and respiratory issues, high blood pressure, pneumonia, and bladder cancer. He also experienced dementia-like symptoms as a result of his antidepressant use. Following a heart attack in February 1997, he had made no public appearances. While attempts were made to stabilize Sinatra, his wife pushed him to "fight" and stated that his dying words were, "I'm losing."
Tina Sinatra, Sinatra's daughter, subsequently claimed that she and her siblings (Frank Jr. and Nancy) had not been informed of their father's final hospitalization, and she believed that "The omission was intentional. Barbara would be the bereaved widow by her husband's side." The lights of the Empire State Building in New York City were coloured blue the night after Sinatra's death, the lights on the Las Vegas Strip were lowered in his honour, and the casinos stopped spinning for one minute.
On May 20, 1998, Sinatra's funeral was held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, California, with 400 mourners in attendance and many more outside. Gregory Peck, Tony Bennett, and Frank Sinatra's son, Frank Jr., addressed the mourners, who included numerous celebrities and actors. Sinatra was buried in a blue business suit next to his parents in section B-8 of Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California, with mementos from family members-cherry-flavored Life Savers, Tootsie Rolls, a bottle of Jack Daniel's, a pack of Camel cigarettes, a Zippo lighter, stuffed toys, a dog biscuit, and a roll of dimes that he always carried.
Jilly Rizzo and Jimmy Van Heusen, two of his closest pals, are buried nearby. On Sinatra's original grave headstone, the words "The Best Is Yet to Come," as well as "Beloved Husband & Father," were inscribed. According to the magazine Palm Springs Life, Sinatra's gravestone was changed under strange circumstances. The existing inscription on the headstone is "Sleep Warm Poppa." Billboard reported significant gains in worldwide recording sales in the month following his death.