Who Was Frank Sinatra?

By jamie
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Frank Sinatra, nickname “ole blue eyes,” was an American singer who was one of the most successful music artists of all time. He was also an actor and a producer and starred in a number of successful movies. He had a string of successful hit songs, and New York, New York and My Way are two of the best known of all.

Sinatra was known for having a superb singing voice but he never learned how to read music himself. He lived a very colorful, flamboyant life, and had some turbulent relationships with some of the most famous actresses of his time.

1. A Son of Immigrants

Frank Sinatra was himself an American citizen, but his parents were immigrants from Italy. His parents were Antonino Martino Marty Sinatra, and Natalina Dolly Garaventa. His father arrived in 1903 and was a bantamweight boxer, and his mother was a midwife.

Sinatra was an only child and grew up with his parents in Hoboken, New Jersey. His mother had a very driven personality and it is thought that this helped to influence Sinatra into becoming the self-confident person he was. Sinatra’s mother got involved in local politics and was quite an influential figure in Hoboken when Sinatra was growing up.

Frank Sinatra

2. Traumatic Birth

Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915. Delivered in his parents apartment, his birth did not go smoothly and Sinatra had to be pulled forcefully from the womb with a pair of forceps.

When he emerged, he was not breathing and had turned blue. It was thought he had died. Not giving up, Sinatra’s grandmother picked up the baby and placed him under cold running water, causing him to wake up. Although he had survived the ordeal, Sinatra was left with severe scars and a perforated ear drum because of the way he was forcefully pulled out with the forceps.

3. Scarface

The scars that Sinatra picked up during his birth were to stay with him for the rest of is life. To make matters worse, Sinatra suffered from extreme acne as a teenager and this left scars on his left cheek. This left Sinatra feeling conscious about his appearance and he was given the nickname “Scarface” when he as a teenager.

Sinatra was so self-conscious about his appearance that he hated showing the left side of his face; the side that was heavily scarred. He would also use makeup to hide his scars as much as he could. In addition, Sinatra was self-conscious about his short height so he wore elevator shoes that would help make him appear to be taller.

Frank Sinatra

4. A Snappy Dresser

When he was young, America was going through the Great Depression. Lots of people were struggling to get by but Sinatra was fortunate in that his parents were doing quite well. His mother was able to give him money to spend and he would often choose to spend it on fine clothes.

Sinatra stood out as being the best dressed kid in the neighborhood and he probably stood out at a time when few people could afford such luxuries. He would continue to dress smartly for the rest of his life. When he reached stardom, he had a reputation for being a snappy dresser.

5. Not Enlisted

During WWII, many Americans were enlisted to join the armed forces. Young men were given no choice and faced prosecution if they tried to refuse. Sinatra was himself at conscription age but he was fortunate enough to not be called up for military service.

The reason he didn’t have to serve was the same reason he was scarred. The perforated eardrum he experienced during his birth meant that he could not be accepted into the army. He did play his part, however, as he joined USO tours toward the end of the war to help try and lift the morale of service men and women.

Frank Sinatra

6. Association with the Mafia?

The movie The Godfather is one of the most successful movies of all time. In the movie, there is a moment when one of the characters, Johnny Fontane, approached Don Corleone to ask for a favor. The request was granted and the Don helped Johnny reach international stardom.

While the movie itself is fictional, it is based loosely on real characters. While it has not been confirmed, it is thought the Johnny Fontanes character was based on the real live Frank Sinatra. It is thought that the meeting between Fontane and Don Corleone was also based on an alleged similar meeting between Sinatra and a mafia kingpin of the time.

7. FBI

Sinatra was once known to be in the company of Lucky Luciano, who was an influential mafia figure at the time. The press responded by writing various pieces on his supposed connections to the world of organized crime.

The FBI also got wind of his alleged connection and they even opened a file on him to investigate those connections. The FBI kept a file open on Sinatra for almost 50 years and the file grew to 2,403 pages. The FBI was never able to compile sufficient evidence to charge Sinatra of any crimes. While his involvement was never proven, and he always denied the claims, he was also never able to show he was not involved and the rumors remained with him for years to come.

Frank Sinatra

8. Suicide Attempts

Sinatra’s career was not always going as well as he’d hoped it would. In the early 1950s, his career slumped and his popularity fell, and he took it quite hard. It hit him so hard that there were times when he even tried to take his own life.

On one occasion, Sinatra saw a group of girls that were queuing to get into an Eddie Fisher concert. Fisher was the latest new thing at the time and it hurt Sinatra to see somebody else getting the fans adoration instead of him. The event compelled him to try and take his life but his manager found him and saved him. Sinatra also made another three attempts to take his own life.

9. A Gentlemans Drink.

It is clear that Sinatra was a very stylish gentleman and he even had his own style when it came to his favorite tipple. His drink of choice was Jack Daniel’s whiskey but he insisted on having it made in a very particular way. Sinatra insisted on having his Jack Daniel’s whiskey served with four ice cubes and a splash of water.

He also had a rather different way of holding it because he would cup it in his hand rather than hold it by the rim as other people usually do. According to Sinatra, his choice of drink was a “gentleman’s drink.”

10. The Rat Pack

Sinatra was a member of an exclusive group that was commonly known as The Rat Pack. The group included some of the best-known names of the time including Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford.

Sinatra was considered to the leader of the group, which has been described as a Hollywood drinking circle. The term was first coined by Lauren Bacall. At the time, Bacall was married to Humphrey Bogart who was also a member of the group. The group referred to themselves as the summit, however, a name they took from a meeting of world leaders that took place in Paris in 1960.

Frank Sinatra

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