Biography: Frank Sinatra

Hello there,

This is the second installment of a series we run here at The Gentleman where we document the life of a well-known gentleman. Today’s article concerns none other than Frank Sinatra (and why would it? We only document one gentleman at a time).

Sinatra relaxes at his home in Palm Springs. Notice the state-of-the-art technology and the bowl of either cigarette packs or wads of money on the table. A true gentleman.

Frank Sinatra was born December 12, 1915 as Francis Albert Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey. He legally changed his name to ‘Frank’ soon afterwards. Sinatra starting singing for tips at the age of 8. He spent the majority if his takings on suits, cigars and scotch – all of which were popular with kids in the ’20s. It was a different, more gentlemanly (and hence better) time.

Sinatra became increasingly popular in the ’30s and ’40s amongst bobby soxers for his resonant voice, chiseled jawline and his hat. He also achieved fame and success in moving pictures, or ‘talkies’ – often with other renowned gentleman such as Gene Kelly. This culminated in an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in From Here to Eternity. Despite this being due to his connections with the mob, critics agree he would have won the award regardless of this.

He also won the one-off Academy Award for Most Bourbon Consumed During Filming (shared with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr) for his performance in Ocean’s 11.

Frank Sinatra is also credited with having invented the openable car door, as demonstrated here. A gentleman never exits the car via the roof.

Sinatra is, of course, known first and foremost for his voice. He endured success spanning eight decades, released dozens of albums and is one of the best-selling artists of all time. Some of his best known albums include Come Dance With Me, Come Fly With Me, Come Swing With Me and Come Drink With Me.

Sinatra, moments before swatting mosquitos on each of his thighs.

Sinatra was also at the forefront of many gentlemanly institutions. He served as Chairman of the Board in the Congress of Gentlemen that included Cary Grant, Paul Newman, William Shatner and JFK. This is where his nickname ‘The Chairman of the Board’ came from. It was an extremely accurate nickname.

Sinatra also served as the Gentleman's Sheriff for a period in the '60s. Here he is telling Mongomery Clift to light a cigar, otherwise he'll have to take him to the big house.

Sinatra is the quintessential gentleman because he adheres to all the traits that make a gentleman. Peruse any post on The Gentleman Blog and you will notice that not only did Sinatra fit the bill, he probably wrote the bill and got a healthy tip as well.

Sinatra effortlessly mixes wearing a suit and golfing.

Sometimes he would coalesce 8 or 9 distinct gentlemanly traits into one snap shot.

Sinatra mixes golf, fashion, a nonchalant pose, sharp hairstyle into one moment in time. What you can't see is his cigar, scotch and respect for women - which are all just out of shot.

So if there is something we can learn from the lecture in gentlemanliness that is Frank Sinatra’s life, it’s that you can never be too much of a gentleman.

Sinatra and JFK arrive early for a meeting of the Congress of Gentlemen.

Until next time,

HL Griffith