Frank Sinatra , yatch

Full biography

Fran­cis Albert “Frank” Sinatra

(Decem­ber 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an Amer­i­can singer and film actor.

Begin­ning his musi­cal career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sina­tra became an unprece­dent­edly suc­cess­ful solo artist in the early to mid-​1940s, after being signed to Colum­bia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the “bobby sox­ers”, he released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sina­tra in 1946. His pro­fes­sional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1953 after he won the Acad­emy Award for Best Sup­port­ing Actor for his per­for­mance in From Here to Eter­nity.

He signed with Capi­tol Records in 1953 and released sev­eral crit­i­cally lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin’ Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice ‘n’ Easy). Sina­tra left Capi­tol to found his own record label, Reprise Records in 1961 (find­ing suc­cess with albums such as Ring-​a-​Ding-​Ding!, Sina­tra at the Sands and Fran­cis Albert Sina­tra & Anto­nio Car­los Jobim), and toured inter­na­tion­ally. He was a found­ing mem­ber of the Rat Pack and frat­er­nized with celebri­ties and states­men, includ­ing John F. Kennedy. Sina­tra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the ret­ro­spec­tive Sep­tem­ber of My Years, starred in the Emmy-​winning tele­vi­sion spe­cial Frank Sina­tra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with “Strangers in the Night” and “My Way”.

With sales of his music dwin­dling and after appear­ing in sev­eral poorly received films, Sina­tra retired for the first time in 1971. Two years later, how­ever, he came out of retire­ment and in 1973 recorded sev­eral albums, scor­ing a Top 40 hit with “(Theme From) New York, New York” in 1980. Using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and inter­na­tion­ally, until a short time before his death in 1998.

Sina­tra also forged a highly suc­cess­ful career as a film actor, win­ning the Acad­emy Award for Best Sup­port­ing Actor for his per­for­mance in From Here to Eter­nity, a nom­i­na­tion for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm, and crit­i­cal acclaim for his per­for­mance in The Manchurian Can­di­date. He also starred in such musi­cals as High Soci­ety, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sina­tra was hon­ored at the Kennedy Cen­ter Hon­ors in 1983 and was awarded the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom by Ronald Rea­gan in 1985 and the Con­gres­sional Gold Medal in 1997. Sina­tra was also the recip­i­ent of eleven Grammy Awards, includ­ing the Grammy Trustees Award, the Grammy Leg­end Award and the Grammy Life­time Achieve­ment Award.

Early life

Born Decem­ber 12, 1915, in Hobo­ken, New Jer­sey, Sina­tra was the only child of Ital­ian immi­grants Natalie Della (Gar­aventa) and Antonino Mar­tino Sina­tra, and was raised as a Roman Catholic. He left high school with­out grad­u­at­ing, hav­ing attended only 47 days before being expelled because of his rowdy con­duct. Sinatra’s father, often referred to as Marty, served with the Hobo­ken Fire Depart­ment as a Cap­tain. His mother, known as Dolly, was influ­en­tial in the neigh­bor­hood and in local Demo­c­ra­tic Party cir­cles, but also ran an ille­gal abor­tion busi­ness from her home; she was arrested sev­eral times and con­victed twice for this offense. Dur­ing the Great Depres­sion, Dolly nev­er­the­less pro­vided money to her son for out­ings with friends and expen­sive clothes. In 1938, Sina­tra was arrested for car­ry­ing on with a mar­ried woman, a crim­i­nal offense at the time. For his liveli­hood, he worked as a deliv­ery boy at the Jer­sey Observer news­pa­per, and later as a riv­eter at the Tiet­jan and Lang Ship­yard, but music was Sinatra’s main inter­est, and he lis­tened care­fully to big band jazz. He began singing for tips at the age of eight, stand­ing on top of the bar at a local night­club in Hobo­ken. Sina­tra began singing pro­fes­sion­ally as a teenager in the 1930s,although he learned music by ear and never learned how to read music.


1935 – 40: Start of career, and work with James and Dorsey

Sina­tra got his first break in 1935 when his mother per­suaded a local singing group, The Three Flashes, to let him join. With Sina­tra, the group became known as the Hobo­ken Four, and they suf­fi­ciently impressed Edward Bowes. After appear­ing on his show, Major Bowes Ama­teur Hour, they attracted 40,000 votes and won the first prize – a six month con­tract to per­form on stage and radio across the United States.

Sina­tra left the Hobo­ken Four and returned home in late 1935. His mother secured him a job as a singing waiter and MC at the Rus­tic Cabin in Engle­wood Cliffs, New Jer­sey, for which he was paid $15 a week.

On March 18, 1939, Sina­tra made a demo record­ing of a song called “Our Love”, with the Frank Mane band. The record has “Frank Sina­tra” signed on the front. The band­leader kept the orig­i­nal record in a safe for nearly 60 years. In June, Harry James hired Sina­tra on a one year con­tract of $75 a week. It was with the James band that Sina­tra released his first com­mer­cial record “From the Bot­tom of My Heart” in July 1939.

Fewer than 8,000 copies of “From the Bot­tom of My Heart” (Brunswick No. 8443) were sold, mak­ing the record a very rare find that is sought after by record col­lec­tors world­wide. Sina­tra released ten com­mer­cial tracks with James through 1939, includ­ing “All or Noth­ing At All” which had weak sales on its ini­tial release but then sold mil­lions of copies when re-​released by Colum­bia at the height of Sinatra’s pop­u­lar­ity a few years later.

In Novem­ber 1939, in a meet­ing at the Palmer House in Chicago, Sina­tra was asked by band­leader Tommy Dorsey to join his band as a replace­ment for Jack E. Leonard, who had recently left to launch a solo career. This meet­ing was a turn­ing point in Sinatra’s career. By sign­ing with Dorsey’s band, one of the hottest at the time, he greatly increased his vis­i­bil­ity with the Amer­i­can pub­lic. Though Sina­tra was still under con­tract with James, James rec­og­nized the oppor­tu­nity Dorsey offered and gra­ciously released Sina­tra from his con­tract. Sina­tra rec­og­nized his debt to James through­out his life and upon hear­ing of James’ death in 1983, stated: “he [James] is the one that made it all possible.”

On Jan­u­ary 26, 1940, Sina­tra made his first pub­lic appear­ance with the Dorsey band at the Coro­n­ado The­ater in Rock­ford, Illi­nois. In his first year with Dorsey, Sina­tra released more than forty songs, with “I’ll Never Smile Again” top­ping the charts for twelve weeks begin­ning in mid-​July.

Sinatra’s rela­tion­ship with Tommy Dorsey was trou­bled, because of their con­tract, which awarded Dorsey one-​third of Sinatra’s life­time earn­ings in the enter­tain­ment indus­try. In Jan­u­ary 1942, Sina­tra recorded his first solo ses­sions with­out the Dorsey band (but with Dorsey’s arranger Axel Stor­dahl and with Dorsey’s approval). These ses­sions were released com­mer­cially on the Blue­bird label. Sina­tra left the Dorsey band late in 1942 in an inci­dent that started rumors of Sinatra’s involve­ment with the Mafia. A story appeared in the Hearst news­pa­pers that mob­ster Sam Gian­cana coerced Dorsey to let Sina­tra out of his con­tract for a few thou­sand dol­lars, and such was fic­tion­al­ized in the movie The God­fa­ther. Accord­ing to Nancy Sinatra’s biog­ra­phy, the Hearst rumors were started because of Frank’s Demo­c­ra­tic pol­i­tics. In fact, the con­tract was bought out by MCA founder Jules Stein for $75,000.

1940 – 50: Sina­tra­ma­nia and decline of career

In May 1941, Sina­tra was at the top of the male singer polls in the Bill­board and Down Beat mag­a­zines. His appeal to bobby sox­ers, as teenage girls of that time were called, revealed a whole new audi­ence for pop­u­lar music, which had been recorded mainly for adults up to that time.

On Decem­ber 30, 1942, Sina­tra made a “leg­endary open­ing” at the Para­mount The­ater in New York. Jack Benny later said, “I thought the god­damned build­ing was going to cave in. I never heard such a com­mo­tion… All this for a fel­low I never heard of.” When Sina­tra returned to the Para­mount in Octo­ber 1944, 35,000 fans caused a near riot out­side the venue because they were not allowed in.

Dur­ing the musi­cians’ strike of 1942 – 44, Colum­bia re-​released Harry James and Sinatra’s ver­sion of “All or Noth­ing at All” (music by Arthur Alt­man and lyrics by Jack Lawrence), recorded in August 1939 and released before Sina­tra had made a name for him­self. The orig­i­nal release did not even men­tion the vocalist’s name. When the record­ing was re – released in 1943 with Sinatra’s name promi­nently dis­played, the record was on the best – sell­ing list for 18 weeks, and reached num­ber 2 on June 21943.

Sina­tra signed with Colum­bia on June 1, 1943, as a solo artist, and he ini­tially had great suc­cess, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the 1942 – 44 musi­cians’ strike. Although no new records had been issued dur­ing the strike, he had been per­form­ing on the radio (on Your Hit Parade), and on stage. Colum­bia wanted to get new record­ings of their grow­ing star as fast as pos­si­ble, so Sina­tra con­vinced them to hire Alec Wilder as arranger and con­duc­tor for sev­eral ses­sions with a vocal group called the Bobby Tucker Singers. These first ses­sions were on June 7, June 22, August 5, and Novem­ber 10, 1943. Of the nine songs recorded dur­ing these ses­sions, seven charted on the best – sell­ing list.

Sina­tra did not serve in the mil­i­tary dur­ing World War II. On Decem­ber 11, 1943, he was clas­si­fied 4-​F (“Reg­is­trant not accept­able for mil­i­tary ser­vice”) for a per­fo­rated eardrum by his draft board. Addi­tion­ally, an FBI report on Sina­tra, released in 1998, showed that the doc­tors had also writ­ten that he was a “neu­rotic” and “not accept­able mate­r­ial from a psy­chi­atric stand­point”. This was omit­ted from his record to avoid “undue unpleas­ant­ness for both the selectee and the induc­tion ser­vice”. Active-​duty ser­vice­men, like jour­nal­ist William Man­ches­ter, said of Sina­tra, “I think Frank Sina­tra was the most hated man of World War II, much more than Hitler”, because Sina­tra was back home mak­ing all of that money and being shown in pho­tographs sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful women. His exemp­tion would resur­face through­out his life and cause him grief when he had to defend him­self. There were accu­sa­tions, includ­ing some from noted colum­nist Wal­ter Winchell, that Sina­tra paid $40,000 to avoid the ser­vice – but the FBI found no evi­dence of this.

In her book “Over Here, Over There” with Bill Gilbert, Max­ene Andrews recalled when Sina­tra enter­tained the troops dur­ing an over­seas USO tour with come­dian Phil Sil­vers dur­ing the war, observ­ing, “I guess they just had a wing-​ding, what­ever it was. Sina­tra demanded his own plane. But Bing [Crosby] said, ‘Don’t demand any­thing. Just go over there and sing your hearts out.’ So, we did.” Sina­tra worked fre­quently with the very pop­u­lar Andrews Sis­ters, both on radio in the 1940s, appear­ing as guests on each other’s shows, as well as on many shows broad­cast to troops via the Armed Forces Radio Ser­vice (AFRS). He appeared as spe­cial guest on a rare pilot episode of the sis­ters’ ABC Eight-​to-​the-​Bar Ranch series at the end of 1944, and returned for another much fun­nier guest stint a few months later, while the trio in turn guested on his Songs By Sina­tra series on CBS, to the delight of an audi­ence filled with scream­ing bobby-​soxers. Patty, Max­ene, and LaV­erne also teamed with Frankie when they appeared three times as guests on Sinatra’s CBS tele­vi­sion show in the early-​1950s. Max­ene once told Joe Franklin dur­ing a 1979 WWOR-​AM Radio inter­view that Sina­tra was “a pecu­liar man,” with the abil­ity to act indif­fer­ent towards her at times.

In 1945, Sina­tra co-​starred with Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh. That same year, he was loaned out to RKO to star in a short film titled The House I Live In. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy, this film on tol­er­ance and racial equal­ity earned a spe­cial Acad­emy Award shared among Sina­tra and those who brought the film to the screen, along with a spe­cial Golden Globe for “Pro­mot­ing Good Will”. 1946 saw the release of his first album, The Voice of Frank Sina­tra, and the debut of his own weekly radio show. By the end of 1948, Sina­tra felt that his career was stalling, some­thing that was con­firmed when he slipped to No. 4 on Down Beat’s annual poll of most pop­u­lar singers (behind Billy Eck­s­tine, Frankie Laine, and Bing Crosby).

The year 1949 saw an upswing, as Frank co-​starred with Gene Kelly in Take Me Out to the Ball Game. It was well received crit­i­cally and became a major com­mer­cial suc­cess. That same year, Sina­tra teamed up with Kelly for a third time in On the Town.

1950 – 60: Rebirth of career, and Capi­tol con­cept albums

After two years’ absence, Sina­tra returned to the con­cert stage on Jan­u­ary 12, 1950, in Hart­ford, Con­necti­cut. His voice suf­fered and he expe­ri­enced hem­or­rhag­ing of his vocal cords on stage at the Copaca­bana on April 26, 1950. Sinatra’s career and appeal to new teen audi­ences declined as he moved into his mid-​30s.

This was a period of seri­ous self-​doubt about the tra­jec­tory of his career. In Feb­ru­ary 1951, he was walk­ing through Times Square, past the Para­mount the­atre, key­stone venue of his ear­lier phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess. The Para­mount mar­quee glowed in announce­ment of Eddie Fisher in con­cert. Swarms of teen-​age girls had gath­ered in frenzy, swoon­ing over the cur­rent singing idol. For Sina­tra this pub­lic dis­play of enthu­si­asm for Fisher val­i­dated a fear he had har­bored in his own mind for a long time. The Sina­tra star had fallen; the shouts of “Frankieee” were echoes of the past. Agi­tated and dis­con­so­late he rushed home, closed his kitchen door, turned on the gas and laid his head on the top of the stove. A friend returned to the apart­ment not long after to find Sina­tra lying on the floor sob­bing out the melo­drama of his life, pro­claim­ing his fail­ure was so com­plete he could not even com­mit sui­cide.

In Sep­tem­ber 1951, Sina­tra made his Las Vegas debut at the Desert Inn. A month later, the sec­ond sea­son of The Frank Sina­tra Show began on CBS Tele­vi­sion. Ulti­mately, Sina­tra did not find the suc­cess on tele­vi­sion for which he had hoped. The per­sona he pre­sented to the TV audi­ence was not that of a per­former eas­ily wel­comed into homes. He pro­jected an arro­gance not com­pat­i­ble with the type of cozy con­ge­nial­ity that played well on the small screen.

Colum­bia and MCA dropped him in 1952.

The rebirth of Sinatra’s career began with the eve-​of-​Pearl Har­bor drama From Here to Eter­nity (1953), for which he won an Acad­emy Award for Best Sup­port­ing Actor. This role and per­for­mance marked a turn­around in Sinatra’s career: after sev­eral years of crit­i­cal and com­mer­cial decline, becom­ing an Oscar-​winning actor helped him regain his posi­tion as the top record­ing artist in the world.

Also in 1953, Sina­tra starred in the NBC radio pro­gram Rocky For­tune. His char­ac­ter, Rocko For­tu­nato (aka Rocky For­tune) was a temp worker for the Gri­d­ley Employ­ment Agency who stum­bled into crime-​solving by way of the odd jobs to which he was dis­patched. The series aired on NBC radio Tues­day nights from Octo­ber 1953 to March 1954, fol­low­ing the network’s crime drama hit Drag­net. Dur­ing the final months of the show, just before the 1954 Oscars, it became a run­ning gag that Sina­tra would man­age to work the phrase “from here to eter­nity” into each episode, a ref­er­ence to his Oscar-​nominated performance.

In 1953, Sina­tra signed with Capi­tol Records, where he worked with many of the finest musi­cal arrangers of the era, most notably Nel­son Rid­dle, Gor­don Jenk­ins, and Billy May. With a series of albums fea­tur­ing darker emo­tional mate­r­ial, Sina­tra rein­vented him­self, includ­ing In the Wee Small Hours (1955) — Sinatra’s first 12LP and his sec­ond col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nel­son Rid­dle—Where Are You? (1957) his first album in stereo, with Gor­don Jenk­ins, and Frank Sina­tra Sings For Only The Lonely(1958). He also incor­po­rated a hip­per, “swing­ing” per­sona into some of his music, as heard on Swing Easy! (1954), Songs For Swingin’ Lovers! (1956), and Come Fly With Me (1957).

By the end of the year, Bill­board had named “Young at Heart” Song of the Year; Swing Easy!, with Nel­son Rid­dle at the helm (his sec­ond album for Capi­tol), was named Album of the Year; and Sina­tra was named “Top Male Vocal­ist” by Bill­board, Down Beat and Metronome.

A third col­lab­o­ra­tion with Nel­son Rid­dle, Songs For Swingin’ Lovers!, was both a crit­i­cal and finan­cial suc­cess, fea­tur­ing a record­ing of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”.

Frank Sina­tra Sings for Only the Lonely, a stark col­lec­tion of intro­spec­tive saloon songs and blues-​tinged bal­lads, was a mam­moth com­mer­cial suc­cess, spend­ing 120 weeks on Bill­boards album chart and peak­ing at No. 1. Cuts from this LP, such as “Angel Eyes” and “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)”, would remain sta­ples of Sinatra’s con­certs through­out his life.

Through the late fifties, Sina­tra fre­quently crit­i­cized rock and roll music, much of it being his reac­tion to rhythms and atti­tudes he found alien. In 1958 he lam­basted it as “sung, played, and writ­ten for the most part by cretinous goons. It man­ages to be the mar­tial music of every side­burned delin­quent on the face of the earth.”

Sinatra’s 1959 hit “High Hopes” lasted on the Hot 100 for 17 weeks, more than any other Sina­tra hit did on that chart, and was a recur­ring favorite for years on “Cap­tain Kangaroo”.

1960 – 70: Ring-​A-​Ding Ding!, Reprise records, Basie, Jobim, “My Way”

Frank Sina­tra at Girl’s Town Ball in Florida, March 121960

Sina­tra started the 1960s as he ended the 1950s. His first album of the decade, Nice ‘n’ Easy, topped Bill­board’s chart and won crit­i­cal plau­dits. Sina­tra grew dis­con­tented at Capi­tol and decided to form his own label, Reprise Records. His first album on the label, Ring-​A-​Ding Ding! (1961), was a major suc­cess, peak­ing at No.4 on Bill­board and No.8 in the UK.

His fourth and final Timex TV spe­cial was broad­cast in March 1960, and earned mas­sive view­ing fig­ures. Titled It’s Nice to Go Trav­el­ling, the show is more com­monly known as Wel­come Home Elvis. Elvis Presley’s appear­ance after his army dis­charge was some­what ironic; Sina­tra had been scathing about him in the mid fifties, say­ing: “His kind of music is deplorable, a ran­cid smelling aphro­disiac. It fos­ters almost totally neg­a­tive and destruc­tive reac­tions in young peo­ple.” Pres­ley had responded: “… [Sina­tra] is a great suc­cess and a fine actor, but I think he shouldn’t have said it… [rock and roll] is a trend, just the same as he faced when he started years ago.” Later, in efforts to main­tain his com­mer­cial via­bil­ity, Sina­tra recorded Presley’s hit “Love Me Ten­der” as well as works by Paul Simon (“Mrs. Robin­son”), The Bea­t­les (“Some­thing”, Yes­ter­day”), and Joni Mitchell (“Both Sides Now”).

Fol­low­ing on the heels of the film Can Can was Ocean’s 11, the movie that became the defin­i­tive on-​screen out­ing for “The Rat Pack,” a group of enter­tain­ers led by Sina­tra who worked together on a loose basis in films and casino shows fea­tur­ing Dean Mar­tin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Law­ford, and Joey Bishop. Sub­se­quent pic­tures together included Sergeants 3 and Robin and the 7 Hoods, although the movies’ ros­ters of actors var­ied slightly accord­ing to whom Sina­tra hap­pened to be angry with when cast­ing any given film; he replaced Sammy Davis, Jr. with Steve McQueen in Never So Few and Peter Law­ford with Bing Crosby in Robin and the 7 Hoods.

From his youth, Sina­tra dis­played sym­pa­thy for African Amer­i­cans and worked both pub­licly and pri­vately all his life to help them win equal rights. He played a major role in the deseg­re­ga­tion of Nevada hotels and casi­nos in the 1960s. On Jan­u­ary 27, 1961, Sina­tra played a ben­e­fit show at Carnegie Hall for Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. and led his fel­low Rat Pack mem­bers and Reprise label mates in boy­cotting hotels and casi­nos that refused entry to black patrons and per­form­ers. He often spoke from the stage on deseg­re­ga­tion and repeat­edly played ben­e­fits on behalf of Dr. King and his move­ment. Accord­ing to his son, Frank Sina­tra, Jr., King sat weep­ing in the audi­ence at a con­cert in 1963 as Sina­tra sang Ol’ Man River, a song from the musi­cal Show Boat that is sung by an African-​American stevedore.

On Sep­tem­ber 11 and 12, 1961, Sina­tra recorded his final songs for Capitol.

In 1962, he starred with Janet Leigh and Lau­rence Har­vey in the polit­i­cal thriller, The Manchurian Can­di­date, play­ing Ben­nett Marco. That same year, Sina­tra and Count Basie col­lab­o­rated for the album Sinatra-​Basie. This pop­u­lar and suc­cess­ful release prompted them to rejoin two years later for the follow-​up It Might as Well Be Swing, which was arranged by Quincy Jones. One of Sinatra’s more ambi­tious albums from the mid-​1960s, The Con­cert Sina­tra, with a 73-​piece sym­phony orches­tra led by Nel­son Rid­dle, was recorded on a motion pic­ture scor­ing stage with the use of mul­ti­ple syn­chro­nized record­ing machines that employed 35mm mag­netic film (multi-​track mas­ter tape machines were not yet a real­ity in the record­ing studio).

Sinatra’s first live album, Sina­tra at the Sands, was recorded dur­ing Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary 1966 at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Dean Mar­tin and Frank Sinatra

In June 1965, Sina­tra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Mar­tin played live in Saint Louis to ben­e­fit Dis­mas House. The Rat Pack con­cert was broad­cast live via satel­lite to numer­ous movie the­aters across Amer­ica. Released in August 1965 was the Grammy Award – win­ning album of the year, Sep­tem­ber of My Years, con­tain­ing the sin­gle “It Was A Very Good Year”, which won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Per­for­mance, Male in 1966. A career anthol­ogy, A Man and His Music, fol­lowed in Novem­ber, win­ning Album of the Year at the Gram­mys in 1966. The TV spe­cial, Frank Sina­tra: A Man and His Music, gar­nered both an Emmy award and a Peabody Award.

In the spring, That’s Life appeared, with both the sin­gle and album becom­ing Top Ten hits in the US on Bill­board’s pop charts. Strangers in the Night went on to top the Bill­board and UK pop sin­gles charts, win­ning the award for Record of the Year at the Gram­mys. The album of the same name also topped the Bill­board chart and reached num­ber 4 in the UK.

Sina­tra started 1967 with a series of impor­tant record­ing ses­sions with Antônio Car­los Jobim. Later in the year, a duet with daugh­ter Nancy, “Some­thin’ Stu­pid”, topped the Bill­board pop and UK sin­gles charts. In Decem­ber, Sina­tra col­lab­o­rated with Duke Elling­ton on the album Fran­cis A. & Edward K.

Dur­ing the late 1960s, press agent Lee Solters would invite colum­nists and their spouses into Sinatra’s dress­ing room just before he was about to go on stage. The New Yorker recounted that “the first colum­nist they tried this on was Larry Fields of the Philadel­phia Daily News, whose wife fainted when Sina­tra kissed her cheek. ‘Take care of it, Lee,’ Sina­tra said, and he was off.” The pro­fes­sional rela­tion­ship Sina­tra shared with Solters focused on projects on the west coast while those focused on the east coast were han­dled by Solters’ part­ner, Shel­don Roskin of Solters/​Roskin/​Friedman, a well-​known firm at the time.

Back on the small-​screen, Sina­tra once again worked with Jobim and Ella Fitzger­ald on the TV spe­cial, A Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim.

With Sina­tra in mind, singer-​songwriter Paul Anka wrote the song “My Way”, inspired from the French “Comme d’habitude” (“As Usual”), com­posed by Claude François and Jacques Revaux. (The song had been pre­vi­ously com­mis­sioned to David Bowie, whose lyrics did not please the involved agents.) “My Way” would, iron­i­cally, become more closely iden­ti­fied with him than any other song over his seven decades as a singer even though he reput­edly did not care for it.

Water­town (1970) was one of Sinatra’s most acclaimed con­cept albums with music by Bob Gau­dio (of the Four Sea­sons) and lyrics by Jake Holmes, but it was all but ignored by the pub­lic. Sell­ing a mere 30,000 copies in 1970 and reach­ing a peak chart posi­tion of 101, its fail­ure put an end to plans for a tele­vi­sion spe­cial based on the album. Water­town was one of the only record­ing ses­sions hav­ing Sina­tra sing against pre-​recorded tracks vs. a live orchestra.

1970 – 80: Retire­ment and comeback

Empress Farah Diba of Iran and Frank Sina­tra, Tehran, 1975.

Frank Sina­tra, with Giulio Andreotti (left) and Richard Nixon at the White House, 1973.

On June 13, 1971 – at a con­cert in Hol­ly­wood to raise money for the Motion Pic­ture and TV Relief Fund – at the age of 55, Sina­tra announced that he was retir­ing, bring­ing to an end his 36-​year career in show business.

In 1973, Sina­tra came out of retire­ment with a tele­vi­sion spe­cial and album, both enti­tled Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back. The album, arranged by Gor­don Jenk­ins and Don Costa, was a great suc­cess, reach­ing num­ber 13 on Bill­board and num­ber 12 in the UK. The TV spe­cial was high­lighted by a dra­matic read­ing of “Send in the Clowns” and a song and dance sequence with for­mer co-​star Gene Kelly.

In Jan­u­ary 1974, Sina­tra returned to Las Vegas, per­form­ing at Cae­sars Palace despite vow­ing in 1970 never to play there again after the man­ager of the resort, San­ford Water­man, pulled a gun on him dur­ing a heated argument.With Water­man recently shot, the door was open for Sina­tra to return.

In Aus­tralia, he caused an uproar by describ­ing jour­nal­ists there – who were aggres­sively pur­su­ing his every move and push­ing for a press con­fer­ence – as “fags”, “pimps”, and “whores”. Aus­tralian unions rep­re­sent­ing trans­port work­ers, wait­ers, and jour­nal­ists went on strike, demand­ing that Sina­tra apol­o­gize for his remarks. Sina­tra instead insisted that the jour­nal­ists apol­o­gize for “fif­teen years of abuse I have taken from the world press”. The future Prime Min­is­ter of Aus­tralia, Bob Hawke, then the Aus­tralian Coun­cil of Trade Unions (ACTU) leader, also insisted that Sina­tra apol­o­gize, and a set­tle­ment was even­tu­ally reached to the appar­ent sat­is­fac­tion of both par­ties, Sinatra’s final show of his Aus­tralian tour was tele­vised to the nation.

In Octo­ber 1974, Sina­tra appeared at New York City’s Madi­son Square Gar­den in a tele­vised con­cert that was later released as an album under the title The Main Event – Live. Back­ing him was band­leader Woody Her­man and the Young Thun­der­ing Herd, who accom­pa­nied Sina­tra on a Euro­pean tour later that month. The TV spe­cial gar­nered mostly pos­i­tive reviews while the album – actu­ally culled from var­i­ous shows dur­ing his come­back tour – was only a mod­er­ate suc­cess, peak­ing at No.37 on Bill­board and No.30 in the UK.

In August 1975, Sina­tra held sev­eral back-​to-​back con­certs together with the newly-​risen singer, John Den­ver. Soon they became friends with each other. John Den­ver later appeared as a guest in the Sina­tra and friends TV Spe­cial, singing “Sep­tem­ber Song” together with Sina­tra. Sina­tra cov­ered the John Den­ver hits “My Sweet Lady” and “Leav­ing on a Jet Plane”. And, accord­ing to Den­ver, his song “A Baby Just Like You” was writ­ten at Sinatra’s request.

In 1979, in front of the Egypt­ian pyra­mids, Sina­tra per­formed for Anwar Sadat. Back in Las Vegas, while cel­e­brat­ing 40 years in show busi­ness and his 64th birth­day, he was awarded the Grammy Trustees Award dur­ing a party at Cae­sars Palace.

1980 – 90: Tril­ogy, She Shot Me Down, L.A. Is My Lady

Sina­tra sings with then First Lady Nancy Rea­gan at the White House.

In 1980, Sinatra’s first album in six years was released, Tril­ogy: Past Present Future, a highly ambi­tious triple album that found Sina­tra record­ing songs from the past (pre-​rock era) and present (rock era and con­tem­po­rary) that he had over­looked dur­ing his career, while ‘The Future’ was a free-​form suite of new songs linked à la musi­cal the­ater by a theme, in this case, Sina­tra pon­der­ing over the future. The album gar­nered six Grammy nom­i­na­tions – win­ning for best liner notes – and peaked at num­ber 17 on Bill­board’s album chart, while spawn­ing yet another song that would become a sig­na­ture tune, “Theme from New York, New York”, as well as Sinatra’s much lauded (sec­ond) record­ing of George Harrison’s “Some­thing” (the first was not offi­cially released on an album until 1972’s Frank Sinatra’s Great­est Hits, Vol. 2).

The fol­low­ing year, Sina­tra built on the suc­cess of Tril­ogy with She Shot Me Down, an album that revis­ited the dark tone of his Capi­tol years, and was praised by crit­ics as a vin­tage late-​period Sina­tra. Sina­tra would com­ment that it was “A com­plete saloon album… tear-​jerkers and cry-​in-​your-​beer kind of things”.

Also in 1981, Sina­tra was embroiled in con­tro­versy when he worked a ten-​day engage­ment for $2 mil­lion in Sun City, in the inter­na­tion­ally unrec­og­nized “inde­pen­dent” Bophuthatswana, break­ing a cul­tural boy­cott against apartheid-​era South Africa (orga­nized by Artists United Against Apartheid). Bophuthatswana’s pres­i­dent, Lucas Man­gope, awarded Sina­tra with Bophuthatswana’s high­est honor, the Order of the Leop­ard, and made him an hon­orary tribal chief.

He was selected as one of the five recip­i­ents of the 1983 Kennedy Cen­ter Hon­ors, along­side Katharine Dun­ham, James Stew­art, Elia Kazan, and Vir­gil Thom­son. Quot­ing Henry James in hon­or­ing his old friend, Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan said that “art was the shadow of human­ity” and that Sina­tra had “spent his life cast­ing a mag­nif­i­cent and pow­er­ful shadow”.

In 1984, Sina­tra worked with Quincy Jones for the first time in nearly two decades on the album, L.A. Is My Lady, which was well received crit­i­cally. The album was a sub­sti­tute for another Jones project, an album of duets with Lena Horne, which had to be aban­doned. (Horne devel­oped vocal prob­lems and Sina­tra, com­mit­ted to other engage­ments, could not wait to record.)

1990s: Duets, final performances

In 1990, Sina­tra did a national tour, and was awarded the sec­ond “Ella Award” by the Los Ange­les – based Soci­ety of Singers. At the award cer­e­mony, he per­formed for the final time with Ella Fitzgerald.

In Decem­ber, as part of Sinatra’s birth­day cel­e­bra­tions, Patrick Pas­culli, the Mayor of Hobo­ken, made a procla­ma­tion in his honor, declar­ing that “no other vocal­ist in his­tory has sung, swung, crooned, and ser­e­naded into the hearts of the young and old… as this con­sum­mate artist from Hobo­ken.” The same month Sina­tra gave the first show of his Dia­mond Jubilee Tour at the Bren­dan Byrne Arena in East Ruther­ford, New Jersey.

In 1993 Sina­tra made a sur­prise return to Capi­tol and the record­ing stu­dio for Duets, which was released in November.

The other artists who added their vocals to the album worked for free, and a follow-​up album (Duets II) was released in 1994 that reached No.9 on the Bill­board charts.

Still tour­ing despite var­i­ous health prob­lems, Sina­tra remained a top con­cert attrac­tion on a global scale dur­ing the first half of the 1990s. At times dur­ing con­certs his mem­ory failed him and a fall onstage in Rich­mond, Vir­ginia, in March 1994, sig­naled fur­ther problems.

Sinatra’s final pub­lic con­certs were held in Japan’s Fukuoka Dome in Decem­ber, 1994. The fol­low­ing year, on Feb­ru­ary 25, 1995, at a pri­vate party for 1200 select guests on the clos­ing night of the Frank Sina­tra Desert Clas­sic golf tour­na­ment, Sina­tra sang before a live audi­ence for the very last time. Esquire reported of the show that Sina­tra was “clear, tough, on the money” and “in absolute con­trol”. His clos­ing song was “The Best is Yet to Come”.

Sina­tra was awarded the Leg­end Award at the 1994 Grammy Awards, where he was intro­duced by Bono, who said of him, “Frank’s the chair­man of the bad atti­tude… Rock ‘n roll plays at being tough, but this guy is the boss — the chair­man of boss… I’m not going to mess with him, are you?” Sina­tra called it “the best welcome…I ever had”, but his accep­tance speech ran too long and was abruptly cut off, leav­ing him look­ing con­fused and talk­ing into a dead micro­phone. Later in the tele­cast, Billy Joel protested the deci­sion to cut Sina­tra off by leav­ing a long pause in the mid­dle of his song “The River of Dreams” in order to waste “valu­able adver­tis­ing time”.

In 1995, to mark Sinatra’s 80th birth­day, the Empire State Build­ing glowed blue. A star-​studded birth­day trib­ute, Sina­tra: 80 Years My Way, was held at the Shrine Audi­to­rium in Los Ange­les. At the end of the pro­gram Sina­tra graced the stage for the last time to sing the final notes of “New York, New York” with an ensem­ble. It was Sinatra’s last tele­vised appearance.

In recog­ni­tion of his many years of asso­ci­a­tion with Las Vegas, Frank Sina­tra was elected to the Gam­ing Hall of Fame in 1997.

Film career

Sina­tra enjoyed a huge film career and began mak­ing movies almost as soon as his singing career took off. His most impor­tant pic­tures include The Manchurian Can­di­date with Angela Lans­bury, From Here to Eter­nity with Burt Lan­caster, The Man With the Golden Arm with Arnold Stang, Kings Go Forth with Natalie Wood, Guys and Dolls with Mar­lon Brando, High Soci­ety with Bing Crosby, Pal Joey with Rita Hay­worth, Some Came Run­ning with Dean Mar­tin, Never So Few with Steve McQueen, A Hole in the Head with Edward G. Robin­son, Meet Danny Wil­son, On the Town with Gene Kelly, Robin and the 7 Hoods with Bing Crosby, Ocean’s 11 and Sergeants 3 with the Rat Pack (Dean Mar­tin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Law­ford, and Joey Bishop), Step Lively, None But the Brave (directed by Sina­tra), The Detec­tive with Lee Remick, Come Blow Your Horn with Lee J. Cobb and Bar­bara Rush, and The Pride and the Pas­sion star­ring Cary Grant, among many oth­ers span­ning most of his lengthy career.

Per­sonal life

Sina­tra had three chil­dren, Nancy, Frank Jr., and Tina, all with his first wife, Nancy Bar­bato Sina­tra (m. 1939 – 1951). He was mar­ried three more times, to actresses Ava Gard­ner (m. 1951 – 1957), Mia Far­row (m. 1966 – 1968), and finally to Bar­bara Marx (m. 1976 – 1998; his death).

Through­out his life, Sina­tra had mood swings and bouts of depres­sion. Soli­tude and unglam­orous sur­round­ings were to be avoided at all cost. He strug­gled with the con­flict­ing need “to get away from it all, but not too far away.” He acknowl­edged this, telling an inter­viewer in the 1950s: “Being an 18-​karat manic depres­sive, and hav­ing lived a life of vio­lent emo­tional con­tra­dic­tions, I have an over-​acute capac­ity for sad­ness as well as ela­tion.” In her mem­oirs My Father’s Daugh­ter, his daugh­ter Tina wrote about the “eighteen-​karat” remark: “As flip­pant as Dad could be about his men­tal state, I believe that a Zoloft a day might have kept his demons away. But that kind of med­i­cine was decades off.”

Although beloved as a hero by his home­town of Hobo­ken, Frank Sina­tra rarely vis­ited it. Accord­ing to one account, Sina­tra returned once in 1948 to cel­e­brate the elec­tion of Hoboken’s first Ital­ian mayor and was not well received by the crowd. He stated he would never come back, and in fact did not return until 1984, to appear with Ronald Reagan.

Alleged orga­nized crime links

Sina­tra gar­nered con­sid­er­able atten­tion due to his alleged per­sonal and pro­fes­sional links with orga­nized crime, includ­ing fig­ures such as Carlo Gam­bino, Sam Gian­cana, Lucky Luciano, and Joseph Fis­chetti. The Fed­eral Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion kept records amount­ing to 2,403 pages on Sina­tra. With his alleged Mafia ties, his ardent New Deal pol­i­tics and his friend­ship with John F. Kennedy, he was a nat­ural tar­get for J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. The FBI kept Sina­tra under sur­veil­lance for almost five decades begin­ning in the 1940s. The doc­u­ments include accounts of Sina­tra as the tar­get of death threats and extor­tion schemes. They also por­tray ram­pant para­noia and strange obses­sions at the FBI and reveal nearly every cel­e­brated Sina­tra foible and peccadillo.

For a year Hoover inves­ti­gated Sinatra’s alleged Com­mu­nist affil­i­a­tions, but found no evi­dence. The files include his ren­dezvous with pros­ti­tutes, and his extra­mar­i­tal affair with Ava Gard­ner, which pre­ceded their mar­riage. Celebri­ties men­tioned in the files are Dean Mar­tin, Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, Peter Law­ford, and Giancana’s girl­friend, singer Phyl­lis McGuire.

The FBI’s secret dossier on Sina­tra was released in 1998 in response to Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act requests.

The released FBI files reveal some tan­ta­liz­ing insights into Sinatra’s life­time con­sis­tency in pur­su­ing and embrac­ing seem­ingly con­flict­ing affil­i­a­tions. But Sinatra’s alliances had a prac­ti­cal aspect. They were adap­tive mech­a­nisms for behav­ior moti­vated by self-​interest and inner anx­i­eties. In Sep­tem­ber 1950 Sina­tra felt par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble. He was in a panic over his mori­bund career and haunted by the con­tin­ual spec­u­la­tions and innu­en­dos in cir­cu­la­tion regard­ing his draft sta­tus in World War II. Sina­tra “was scared, his career had sprung a leak.” In a let­ter dated Sep­tem­ber 17, 1950, to Clyde Tol­son, Deputy FBI Direc­tor. Sina­tra offered to be of ser­vice to the FBI as an informer. An excerpted pas­sage from a memo in FBI files states that Sina­tra “feels he can be of help as a result of going any­where the Bureau desires and con­tact­ing any peo­ple from whom he might be able to obtain infor­ma­tion. Sina­tra feels as a result of his pub­lic­ity he can oper­ate with­out suspicion…he is will­ing to go the whole way.” The FBI declined his assistance.

Polit­i­cal views

Sina­tra held dif­fer­ing polit­i­cal views through­out his life.

Sinatra’s par­ents had immi­grated to the United States in 1895 and 1897 respec­tively. His mother, Dolly Sina­tra (1896 – 1977), was a Demo­c­ra­tic Party ward leader.

Eleanor Roo­sevelt and Sina­tra in 1947; Sina­tra named his son after her husband.

Sina­tra, pic­tured here with Eleanor Roo­sevelt in 1960, was an ardent sup­porter of the Demo­c­ra­tic Party until 1970.

Sina­tra remained a sup­porter of the Demo­c­ra­tic Party until the early 1970s when he switched his alle­giance to the Repub­li­can Party.

Polit­i­cal activ­i­ties 1944 – 1968

In 1944, after send­ing a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Franklin D. Roo­sevelt, Sina­tra was invited to meet Roo­sevelt at the White House, where he agreed to become part of the Demo­c­ra­tic Party’s voter reg­is­tra­tion drives.

He donated $5,000 to the Democ­rats for the 1944 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and by the end of the cam­paign was appear­ing at two or three polit­i­cal events every day.

After World War II, Sinatra’s pol­i­tics grew steadily more left wing, and he became more pub­licly asso­ci­ated with the Pop­u­lar Front. He started read­ing lib­eral lit­er­a­ture and sup­ported many orga­ni­za­tions that were later iden­ti­fied as front orga­ni­za­tions of the Com­mu­nist Party by the House Un-​American Activ­i­ties Com­mit­tee in the 1950s, though Sina­tra was never brought before the committee.

Sina­tra spoke at a num­ber of New Jer­sey high schools in 1945, where stu­dents had gone on strike in oppo­si­tion to racial inte­gra­tion. Later that year Sina­tra would appear in The House I Live In, a short film that stood against racism. The film was scripted by Albert Maltz, with the title song writ­ten by Earl Robin­son and Abel Meeropol (under the pseu­do­nym of Lewis Allen).

In 1948, Sina­tra actively cam­paigned for Pres­i­dent Harry S. Tru­man. In 1952 and 1956, he also cam­paigned for Adlai Steven­son. In 1956 and 1960, Sina­tra sang the National Anthem at the Demo­c­ra­tic National Convention.

Of all the U.S. Pres­i­dents he asso­ci­ated with dur­ing his career, he was clos­est to John F. Kennedy. In 1960, Sina­tra and his friends Peter Law­ford, Dean Mar­tin, and Sammy Davis Jr. actively cam­paigned for Kennedy through­out the United States. On the cam­paign trail, Sinatra’s voice was heard even if he wasn’t phys­i­cally present. The campaign’s theme song, played before every appear­ance, was a newly recorded ver­sion of “High Hopes,” spe­cially recorded by Sina­tra with new lyrics salut­ing JFK.

In Jan­u­ary 1961, Sina­tra and Peter Law­ford orga­nized the Inau­gural Gala in Wash­ing­ton, DC, held on the evening before Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy was sworn into office. The event, fea­tur­ing many big show busi­ness stars, was an enor­mous suc­cess, rais­ing a large amount of money for the Demo­c­ra­tic Party. Sina­tra also orga­nized an Inau­gural Gala in Cal­i­for­nia in 1962 to wel­come sec­ond term Demo­c­ra­tic Gov­er­nor Pat Brown.

Sinatra’s move toward the Repub­li­cans seems to have begun when he was snubbed by Pres­i­dent Kennedy in favor of Bing Crosby, a rival singer and a Repub­li­can, for Kennedy’s visit to Palm Springs, in 1962. Kennedy had planned to stay at Sinatra’s home over the Easter hol­i­day week­end, but decided against doing so because of Sinatra’s alleged con­nec­tions to orga­nized crime. Kennedy stayed at Bing Crosby’s house instead. Sina­tra had invested a lot of his own money in upgrad­ing the facil­i­ties at his home in antic­i­pa­tion of the President’s visit. At the time, Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s brother, Attor­ney Gen­eral Robert F. Kennedy, was inten­si­fy­ing his own inves­ti­ga­tions into orga­nized crime fig­ures such as Chicago mob boss Sam Gian­cana, who had ear­lier stayed at Sinatra’s home.

Despite his break with Kennedy, how­ever, he still mourned over Kennedy after he learned he was assas­si­nated. Accord­ing to his daugh­ter Nancy, he learned of Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion while film­ing a scene of Robin and the Seven Hoods in Bur­bank. After he learned of the assas­si­na­tion, Sina­tra quickly fin­ished film­ing the scene, returned to his Palm Springs home, and sobbed in his bed­room for three days.

The 1968 elec­tion illus­trated changes in the once solidly pro-​JFK Rat Pack: Peter Law­ford, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Shirley MacLaine all endorsed Robert Kennedy in the spring pri­maries; Sina­tra, Dean Mar­tin, and Joey Bishop backed Vice-​President Hubert Humphrey. In the fall elec­tion, Sina­tra appeared for Humphrey in Texas at the Hous­ton Astrodome with Pres­i­dent Lyn­don John­son, and also in a tele­vi­sion com­mer­cial solic­it­ing cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions. He also re-​stated his sup­port for Humphrey on a live election-​eve national telethon.

Polit­i­cal activ­i­ties 1970 – 1984

In 1970, the first sign of Sinatra’s break from the Demo­c­ra­tic Party came when he endorsed Ronald Rea­gan for a sec­ond term as Gov­er­nor of Cal­i­for­nia; Sina­tra, how­ever, remained a reg­is­tered Demo­c­rat and encour­aged Rea­gan to become more mod­er­ate. In July 1972, after a life­time of sup­port­ing Demo­c­ra­tic pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates, Sina­tra announced he would sup­port Repub­li­can U.S. Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon for re-​election in the 1972 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. His switch to the Repub­li­can Party was now offi­cial; he even told his daugh­ter Tina, who had actively cam­paigned for Nixon’s Demo­c­ra­tic oppo­nent George McGov­ern, “the older you get, the more con­ser­v­a­tive you get.” Sina­tra said he agreed with the Repub­li­can Party on most posi­tions, except that of abortion.

Sina­tra is awarded the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom by Pres­i­dent Ronald Reagan.

Dur­ing Nixon’s Pres­i­dency, Sina­tra vis­ited the White House on sev­eral occasions.Sinatra also became good friends with Vice Pres­i­dent Spiro Agnew. In 1973, Agnew was charged with cor­rup­tion and resigned as Vice Pres­i­dent; Sina­tra helped Agnew pay some of his legal bills.

In the 1980 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Sina­tra sup­ported Ronald Rea­gan, and donated $4 mil­lion to Reagan’s cam­paign. Sina­tra said he sup­ported Rea­gan as he was “the proper man to be the Pres­i­dent of the United States… it’s so screwed up now, we need some­one to straighten it out.” Reagan’s vic­tory gave Sina­tra his clos­est rela­tion­ship with the White House since the early 1960s. Sina­tra arranged Reagan’s Pres­i­den­tial gala, as he had done for Kennedy 20 years previously.

In 1984, Sina­tra returned to his birth­place in Hobo­ken, bring­ing with him Pres­i­dent Rea­gan, who was in the midst of cam­paign­ing for the 1984 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Rea­gan had made Sina­tra a fund-​raising ambas­sador as part of the Repub­li­can National Committee’s “Vic­tory ’84 Get-​Out-​The-​Vote” (GOTV) drive. On Jan­u­ary 19, 1985, Sina­tra hosted the 50th Pres­i­den­tial Inau­gural Gala, the day before the sec­ond inau­gu­ra­tion of Ronald Reagan.


Sinatra’s grave­stone

Sina­tra began to show signs of demen­tia in his last years. After a heart attack in Feb­ru­ary 1997, he made no fur­ther pub­lic appear­ances. After suf­fer­ing another heart attack, he died at 10:50 p.m. on May 14, 1998, at the Cedars-​Sinai Med­ical Cen­ter, with his wife, Bar­bara, by his side. He was 82 years old. Sinatra’s final words, spo­ken after Bar­bara encour­aged him to “fight” as attempts were made to sta­bi­lize him, were, “I’m los­ing.” The offi­cial cause of death was listed as com­pli­ca­tions from demen­tia, heart and kid­ney dis­ease, and blad­der can­cer. His death was con­firmed by the Sina­tra fam­ily on their web­site with a state­ment accom­pa­nied by a record­ing of the singer’s ver­sion of “Softly As I Leave You.” The next night the lights on the Las Vegas Strip were dimmed for 10 min­utes in his honor and the lights on the Empire State Build­ing in New York were turned blue. Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, an ama­teur sax­o­phon­ist and musi­cian, led the world’s trib­utes to Sina­tra, say­ing that after meet­ing and get­ting to know the singer as pres­i­dent, he had “come to appre­ci­ate on a per­sonal level what mil­lions of peo­ple had appre­ci­ated from afar”.

On May 20, 1998, at the Roman Catholic Church of the Good Shep­herd in Bev­erly Hills, Sinatra’s funeral was held, with 400 mourn­ers in atten­dance and hun­dreds of fans out­side. Gre­gory Peck, Tony Ben­nett, and Frank, Jr., addressed the mourn­ers, amongst whom were Jill St. John, Tom Sel­l­eck, Joey Bishop, Faye Dun­away, Tony Cur­tis, Liza Min­nelli, Kirk Dou­glas, Robert Wag­ner, Bob Dylan, Don Rick­les, Nancy Rea­gan, Angie Dick­in­son, Sophia Loren, Bob Newhart, Mia Far­row, and Jack Nichol­son. A pri­vate cer­e­mony was held later that day at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Palm Springs. Sina­tra was buried fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony next to his par­ents in sec­tion B-​8 of Desert Memo­r­ial Park in Cathe­dral City, a quiet ceme­tery on Ramon Road where Cathe­dral City meets Ran­cho Mirage and near his com­pound, located on Ran­cho Mirage’s tree-​lined Frank Sina­tra Drive. His close friends, Jilly Rizzo and Jimmy Van Heusen, are buried nearby in the same ceme­tery. The words “The Best Is Yet to Come” are imprinted on Sinatra’s grave marker.

Notice: This biog­ra­phy is based on the Wikipedia arti­cle “Frank Sina­tra”, and it is used under the Cre­ative Com­mons Attribution-​ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You may redis­trib­ute it, ver­ba­tim or mod­i­fied, pro­vid­ing that you com­ply with the terms of a Wikipedia Cre­ative Com­mons License.

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