Frank Sinatra was one of America’s most beloved and influential singers. He wasn’t just a singer though, in fact, he also acted in over 60 movies, and directed two as well! When Frank Sinatra passed away, the world lost a shining star.
Francis Albert Sinatra was born on a chilly December day in 1915, in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was born in a little apartment, and his birth was quite difficult. The doctor had to assist in his delivery using a pair of forceps. Baby Frank was blue and thought to be dead, so the doctor ignored him to attend to his mom. Luckily, his grandmother was there to stick him under cold water and revive him!
When Frank was a child, he was bullied mercilessly by the other kids. The forceps that the doctor used to deliver him had left him with a scar on the left side of his face that ran from his mouth to his jawline. The forceps also punctured his eardrum! He also had a cauliflower ear that he was mocked for. As a teenager, he battled a horrible case of acne that left his cheeks scarred with the pitted marks.
From a young age, Frank Sinatra was in love with music, especially big band jazz and musicians like Gene Austin, Rudy Vallée, Bob Elerby, and Russ Colombo. The musician he idolized the most though was Bing Crosby. When he was 15 years old, his uncle Domenico gave him a ukulele that he learned to play and performed at family gatherings! Frank Sinatra dropped out of high school and business school and made his money singing and performing in social clubs.
Frank Sinatra learned to play music by ear, and he never learned how to read music either. His first break in music was in 1935, when his mother persuaded “The 3 Flashes,” a local band, to let him join. Later on, the group would go on to tell everyone that they allowed Frank to join only because he owned a car! It didn’t take long, though, before he was signed as a solo artist in 1943, after working with bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey.
Frank Sinatra was so famous that his level of popularity has been matched by only three other groups or artists - Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson. He was granted three stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame for his amazing work in film and music. In fact, on May 20, 2008, the United States Congress passed a resolution that designed May 13 as “Frank Sinatra Day” to honor him for all he did to develop the American culture.
On May 14, 1998, Frank Sinatra passed away from a heart attack at the age of 82. He’d been sick for years and was frequently in and out of the hospital for a whole host of reasons, including high blood pressure and bladder cancer. He’d even battled dementia in his later years and stopped performing after a heart attack in February, 1997.
His death had such a profound effect on everyone that, the night after he passed away, the lights on the Empire State Building were turned blue, the lights on the Las Vegas Strip were dimmed, and the casinos even stopped spinning for one minute. Frank Sinatra was one of the most influential musicians to have ever lived, and we can’t imagine what the world would have been like had “Old Blue Eyes” never lived. His death was a great loss for everyone, but we can be grateful for the legacy he left behind.