Issue Date: May 13, 2008
City: Burlingame, CA
Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915, in New Jersey, the only child of Italian immigrants Anthony and Natalie Sinatra. He had his first brush with fame when hired by the newly formed Harry James band in 1939. Less than a year later, the charismatic crooner was recruited by Tommy Dorsey.
Sinatra recorded his first number-one hit song, “I’ll Never Smile Again,” after just six months with Dorsey. Dubbed “Ol’ Blue Eyes” by his fans, Sinatra’s velvety voice made 1940s bobby-soxers swoon. An appearance in New York City caused hysteria that made headlines. Soon, Sinatra had contracts with Columbia Records, R.K.O. Films, and the Hit Parade radio program. He became one of only a few performers with record sales of over 500 million.
During his show business career of more than half a century, Sinatra appeared in 58 films, including both musicals and serious dramas. In 1953, he won an Academy Award as best supporting actor for his role in “From Here to Eternity.” Sinatra was leader of the “Rat Pack,” a group of Hollywood stars who were close friends and often performed together in Las Vegas, including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.
In 2008, Frank Sinatra was honored with a 42¢ first-class postage stamp.