For this edition of #ItalianoftheWeek, we are celebrating the one and only Frank Sinatra.
On December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra was born in Hoboken, NJ, to two Sicilian immigrants. In the summer of 1935, Frank’s life would change forever. It was at this time that he saw his idol, Bing Crosby, perform live. Once the concert ended, Sinatra was determined to become a singer. He worked odd jobs performing on the radio and with bands, and in 1940 he was invited to join the Dorsey Band.
In 1942, Sinatra decided to leave the band and try his hand at a solo career. He quickly found success – from 1943-1946, he had 17 different singles chart in the Top 10. Sinatra’s silky baritone voice earned him the nicknames “The Voice” and “The Sultan of Swoon.”
Hollywood beckoned Sinatra, who made his acting debut in 1943. He would star in a few musicals alongside Gene Kelley during this time. It wasn’t until his Oscar-winning performance in From Here to Eternity in 1954 that he would be taken seriously as an actor.
The Rat Pack – Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Sinatra – began their legendary stint at the Las Vegas hotel/casino Sands in January 1960. In March 1988, Frank, Sammy and Dean would reunite once again, with their tour selling out in under two hours. With the release of the 1993 album Duets, Frank would go on to gain a whole new generation of fans. Sinatra’s last concert was in 1995 at the Palm Desert Marriott in California.
On May 14, 1998, Frank Sinatra passed away. With a career lasting over 50 years, Frank Sinatra was an icon who was recognized by many different organizations. Among those are the Grammy Awards (30 nominations, 11 wins), the Academy Awards (9 nominations, 5 wins), Golden Globes (5 nominations, 4 wins), Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Medal of Honor Award, Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Reagan (the highest civilian award given in the United States). He was also posthumously awarded a Humanitarian Award by the Sons of Italy Foundation® at the 1998 National Education & Leadership Awards.