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Sicilian Culture: The People

Frank Sinatra
(Francis Albert Sinatra)

December 12, 1915 - May 14, 1998

Born in Hoboken's Little Italy in New Jersey, Frank Sinatra became known all over the world for his phenomenal voice.  Thought to be too "ethnic" in the beginning of his career, he refused to change his last name to something more "American" and went on to record over 200 albums and led the evolution from Big Band to vocal American music with such songs as Strangers in the Night, New York, New York and a song that brought him out of retirement, My Way. He made numerous films and created a crew called the "Rat Pack" with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.  

In the early days, Frank turned to his friends from the old neighborhood for work when no one would hire him.  These friends included people like Carlo Gambino, Sam Giancana, and other known members of the mafia.  This did not bother Frank, and he stood by his friends and continued to play Las Vegas for them even when he became popular.  He was not about to turn his back on them, because they always stood by him.  

When Joe Kennedy (a man who made his fortune from bootleg booze) wanted to get his son, John F. Kennedy into the presidential primaries.  Kennedy turned to Sinatra to get his friends in organized crime to help.  They accomplished this by winning the State of West Virginia.  Even though West Virginia was a blue collar state with mostly Protestants, they got the labor unions to vote for the Catholic Kennedy.  

He was married four times.  His first wife was his childhood sweetheart, Nancy Barbato in February of 1939.  He later had a public affair with Ava Gardner.  His married his third wife, actress Mia Farrow in 1966, he was 51 she was 21.  His final marriage was to Barbara Marx, she was formerly married to the famed Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers comedy team.

Though he had strong Italian ties and loved his heritage, he was a humanitarian and enjoyed all cultures, a true democrat, he strongly supported his friend John F. Kennedy and went on strike once while on tour with Sammy Davis, Jr. when they refused to allow a black person stay at the hotel.  He also once reunited feuding former partners Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin live on television.  He had not been well for over a year and rumours of his health and "near-death" since his heart attack in January of 1997.  He died at 10:50 p.m. in the emergency room of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.  Frank Sinatra during his career had recorded over a thousand songs and performed nearly 200 concerts in 17 different countries.  Frank Sinatra truly did it "his way".

Visit the Official Sinatra Family Website at www.sinatrafamily.com

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In The Studio with Bing Crosby & Dean Martin

As usual, your information stinks - - Frank Sinatra (Telegram to TIME Magazine)

You have to think of Francis Albert Sinatra.
That guy made 50 movies, and he was still singing at 80 years old. Now that's a hell of a career.
Jon Bon Jovi, "People" Magazine - - July 14, 1997

See More Frank Sinatra Quotes Here

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