Sinatra in 1957's Pal Joey
||Francis Albert Sinatra
December 12, 1915
Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S.
||May 14, 1998
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Desert Memorial Park
Cathedral City, California, U.S.
||Singer, actor, producer
||Nancy Barbato (m. 1939; div. 1951)
Ava Gardner (m. 1951; div. 1957)
Mia Farrow (m. 1966; div. 1968)
Barbara Marx (m. 1976)
Frank Sinatra, Jr.
Antonino Martino Sinatra
Francis Albert Sinatra (/; Italian:
[siˈnaːtra]; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the
best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.
 Born in
Hoboken, New Jersey, to
Italian immigrants, Sinatra began his musical career in the
swing era with bandleaders
Harry James and
Tommy Dorsey. Sinatra found success as a solo artist after he signed with
Columbia Records in 1943, becoming the idol of the "
bobby soxers". He released his debut album,
The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. Sinatra's professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, and he turned to
Las Vegas, where he became one of its best known
residency performers as part of the
Rat Pack. His career was reborn in 1953 with the success of
From Here to Eternity, with his performance subsequently winning an
Academy Award and
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Sinatra released several critically lauded albums, including
In the Wee Small Hours (1955),
Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956),
Come Fly with Me (1958),
Only the Lonely (1958) and
Nice 'n' Easy (1960).
Sinatra left Capitol in 1960 to start his own record label,
Reprise Records, and released a string of successful albums. In 1965, he recorded the retrospective
September of My Years, starred in the
Emmy-winning television special
Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and released the tracks "
Strangers in the Night" and "
My Way". After releasing
Sinatra at the Sands, recorded at the
Sands Hotel and Casino in Vegas with frequent collaborator
Count Basie in early 1966, the following year he recorded one of his most famous collaborations with
Tom Jobim, the album
Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was followed by 1968's
Duke Ellington. Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971, but came out of retirement two years later and recorded several albums and resumed performing at
Caesars Palace, and reached success in 1980 with "
New York, New York". Using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and internationally until a short time before his death in 1998.
Sinatra forged a highly successful career as a film actor. After winning an Academy Award for
From Here to Eternity, he starred in
The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), and received critical acclaim for his performance in
The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He appeared in various musicals such as
On the Town (1949),
Guys and Dolls (1955),
High Society (1956), and
Pal Joey (1957), winning another Golden Globe for the latter. Toward the end of his career, he became associated with playing detectives, including the title character in
Tony Rome (1967). Sinatra would later receive the
Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1971. On television,
The Frank Sinatra Show began on
ABC in 1950, and he continued to make appearances on television throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Sinatra was also heavily involved with politics from the mid-1940s, and actively campaigned for presidents such as
Harry S. Truman,
John F. Kennedy and
Ronald Reagan. Despite his political connections, the FBI investigated Sinatra and his alleged relationship with the
While Sinatra never formally learned how to read music, he had an impressive understanding of it, and he worked very hard from a young age to improve his abilities in all aspects of music. A perfectionist, renowned for his dress sense and performing presence, he always insisted on recording live with his band. His bright blue eyes earned him the popular nickname "Ol' Blue Eyes". Sinatra led a colorful personal life, and was often involved in turbulent affairs with women, such as with his second wife
Ava Gardner. He went on to marry
Mia Farrow in 1966 and
Barbara Marx in 1976. Sinatra had several violent confrontations, usually with journalists he felt had crossed him, or work bosses with whom he had disagreements. He was honored at the
Kennedy Center Honors in 1983, was awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985, and the
Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven
Grammy Awards, including the
Grammy Trustees Award,
Grammy Legend Award and the
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. After his death, American music critic
Robert Christgau called him "the greatest singer of the 20th century",
 and he continues to be seen as an iconic figure.