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Interesting Facts About Frank Sinatra

Updated on September 25, 2012
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra | Source

Ol’ Blue Eyes. The Voice. Chairman of the Board. The Sultan of Swoon. No matter how you refer to him, there’s no denying that Mr. Francis Albert Sinatra – i.e. Frank Sinatra – is one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century. He could sing, he could act, he could somewhat dance, and the mere mention of his name could cause most women to go weak at the knees. Simply put, Frank Sinatra created an unprecedented frenzy of fandom during his lifetime.

He was an enigmatic entertainer whose influence continues even to this day. Just look at artists like Michael Buble or Harry Connick Jr – modern day crooners looking to channel the style and swag of the great Swoonatra. However, there can only truly be one Frank Sinatra and to that end, here is a collection of 75 facts about the man and his music.

Frank Sinatra Trivia

  1. Born Francis Albert Sinatra on December 12, 1915.
  2. Is – not surprisingly – 100% Italian.
  3. Sold more than 250 million records worldwide.
  4. Weighed 13 pounds at birth and was delivered with forceps, which caused permanent scarring on his face and punctured his eardrum.
  5. Never learned to read music.
  6. Attended high school for only 47 days before being expelled for rowdy conduct.
  7. Scored his first big break in 1935 when he and a local singing trio, The Three Flashes, auditioned separately for an appearance on the Major Bowes and His Original Amateur Hour radio show – both were accepted and were convinced to join forces, forming the Hoboken Four singing group.
  8. Spent three months touring the country with the Hoboken Four before returning home to try his hand at a solo career.
  9. Was 5’ 7” tall.
  10. Born and raised in Hoboken, NJ.
  11. Worked as a singing waiter in his early twenties.
  12. Was married four times.
  13. In June of 1939, signed a one-year contract to sing with the Harry James band, but left in November of that year to join Tommy Dorsey’s band – he left Dorsey in 1942.
  14. Officially launched his solo singing career in 1943 when he signed with Columbia.
  15. Was exempted from service in World War II because of his perforated eardrum.
  16. Appeared for the first time on film in 1941 (uncredited) with Tommy Dorsey’s band.
  17. Originally didn’t want to record “My Way” because he thought it was “self-serving and indulgent.”
  18. His first lead role as an actor was alongside Gene Kelly in the 1945 film Anchors Aweigh.
  19. Briefly lost his ability to sing in 1953 after his vocal chords hemorrhaged.
  20. Was sometimes called “Scarface” as a teenage because of the marks left on his face as a result of being delivered by forceps.
  21. Reportedly made four suicide attempts during his life.
  22. Member and leader of the Rat Pack, which included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford – they preferred to call the group The Summit.
  23. Owned an extensive collection of electric toy trains.
  24. Met his first wife, Nancy Barbato, while on vacation in Long Branch, NJ – they married in 1939.
  25. Was an accomplished amateur painter and actually designed the cover art for his Grammy-winning album “Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely.”
  26. Had seven #1 singles throughout his solo career.
  27. Had three children with his first wife; Nancy, Tina, and Frank Jr.
  28. In 1942, his salary jumped from $750 a week to a whopping $25,000 in the span of a month.
  29. Favorite color is orange.
  30. Starred alongside Gene Kelly in two commercial hits in 1949 – Take Me Out to the Ball Game and On the Town.
  31. Married his second wife, Ava Gardner, less than 10 days after splitting from his first wife.
  32. Son Frank Jr. (born Franklin Wayne Emmanuel Sinatra) was actually named for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
  33. Was voted the 59th greatest movie star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  34. His first album, recorded with Columbia, was titled “The Voice of Frank Sinatra.”
  35. In 1944, moved to Los Angeles where he bought a pink stucco house down the street from Bob and Dolores Hope.
  36. Lost four pounds while rehearsing the dance routines for the film Anchors Aweigh.
  37. Had his first on-screen kiss with Gloria DeHaven in the 1944 film Step Lively.
  38. Named Humanitarian of the Year by the Variety Clubs of America in 1983.
  39. The epitaph on his headstone bears the phrase “The best is yet to come.”
  40. Married his third wife, Mia Farrow, in 1966, but divorced her in 1968 after she refused to quit filming Rosemary’s Baby to co-star with him in the crime drama The Detective.
  41. Died on the same day the final episode of “Seinfeld” aired – May 14, 1998.
  42. Was active in the Democratic Party from 1944 until almost 1970, at which point he began supporting Republican Ronald Reagan.
  43. Was nearly 30 years older than Mia Farrow, his third wife.
  44. Is quoted as describing Marlon Brando as “the most overrated actor in the world.”
  45. Was the inspiration for the role of Dirty Harry and was offered the part but turned it down.
  46. Dropped from Columbia in 1952.
  47. Resurrected his career in 1953 after starring in From Here to Eternity, a performance that earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
  48. Signed with Capitol Records in 1953.
  49. Recorded more than 1,000 songs in his lifetime – some were merely different versions of the same song.
  50. Once worked as a cub sports reporter.
  51. Hosted his own weekly radio show in the 1940s.
  52. Was broke in 1951.
  53. Named Entertainer of the Century in 2000.
  54. Banned, along with the other members of the Rat Pack, from Marilyn Monroe’s funeral by Joe DiMaggio.
  55. Recorded 57 songs in 1946 alone.
  56. Disliked Marlon Brando and nicknamed him Mr. Mumbles.
  57. Has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – one for motion pictures, one for recording, and one for television.
  58. Although he was raised a Roman Catholic, he was a strong supporter of Jewish causes.
  59. Hated giving autographs.
  60. Is quoted as saying “A friend is never an imposition.”
  61. Was rated as one of the top three male singers from the 1930s to 1949, at which point he fell to number 5.
  62. Married his fourth wife, Barbara Marx in 1976 – they remained married until his death.
  63. Was best friends with Dean Martin until they became estranged in the final years of their life after Martin quit “The Together Again Tour.”
  64. Formed his own label, Reprise Records in the 1960s.
  65. Some of his favorite desserts include Zeppoles and Tiramisu.
  66. Was an only child.
  67. Participated in a variety of sports as a kid including boxing.
  68. Briefly retired from 1971 to 1973.
  69. Was disliked by Barbara Streisand.
  70. Won nine Grammy awards during his career.
  71. Was featured on a US postage stamp in 2008.
  72. As a youth, worked as a delivery boy at the Jersey Observer.
  73. Won an Academy Award for the song “Three Coins in the Fountain.”
  74. Died as a result of complications from heart and kidney disease, and bladder cancer.
  75. Suffered from dementia in his final years.

Frank Sinatra Songs

Which of the following Frank Sinatra songs is your favorite?

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    • profile image

      alan 2 years ago

      i have a album come fly with ma recored in cuba anybody know the worth

    • profile image

      David D. Turner 3 years ago

      I had the pleasure of playing (as a musician) with Mr. Sinatra for a number of years, concertizing, recordings, television, benefits, etc., under an assortment of venues, circumstances. Mr. Sinatra was ALWAYS a gentleman and a quintessential professional artist. I find it curious that he allegedly hated signing autographs, as when I asked him to sign probably fifty times, he always did so with grace. As far as the mob issue is concerned, EVERYBODY loved and admire him. Mobsters were no different and enjoyed talent and the beautiful music, like anyone else would, with the exception of, perhaps, Streisand. Worked with her, too. Not a fan.

    • profile image

      kat 4 years ago

      Mr. Sinatra and i share same birthdate, 52 years apart. Still love him

    • profile image

      knowledgeismight 5 years ago from Germany

      Yep, think so. Had always a problem to do great research when it comes to "hey. mafia and sinatra. Is it true?". Sometimes misteries should stay save maybe this is one of them.

    • GiblinGirl profile image

      GiblinGirl 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks knowledgeismight. Yeah the mafia connection will probably always remain a bit of a mystery - some people swear it's true, others chalk it up to rumors and hearsay.

    • profile image

      knowledgeismight 5 years ago from Germany

      Great hub!

      I really enjoy his music and ever wondered why he hated giving autographs at all. I also asked people what's about the mafia connection but never ever could anone really answer the question.