Sinatra’s 100th Birthday: 8 Ol’ Blue Eyes Facts

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Few 20th century entertainers have captivated the world like Frank Sinatra and today marks 100 years since he was born in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Dozens of events have taken place to mark the anniversary, even though Ol’ Blue Eyes died 17 years ago.

He became pop culture’s original heartthrob in the 1940s but here are some more facts you might not know about him.

1) He was insecure about his 5 foot 7in height and wore lifts in his shoes.

2)  He was born in an ardently Democratic community and campaigned for Franklin Roosevelt and John F Kennedy. But he became enraged after the Kennedys cold-shouldered him over alleged ties – long a matter of dispute – with the Mafia, and by the 1980s grew closer to Ronald Reagan.

3) He campaigned against racial discrimination and refused to perform in any Las Vegas casinos which banned African-Americans.

4) He was known for his meticulous attention to detail and, especially in his early career, his demands on his backup band, even though he had a punctured ear drum since birth and no formal musical training.

5) He started carrying a roll of dimes in his pocket after his only son Frank Jr was kidnapped and he ran out of money while ringing the kidnappers from a payphone. He was reportedly buried with some too.

6) His first publicist George Evans would hold screaming auditions for young girl fans – known in the era as bobby-soxers – to ensure that those who got into the show made a maximum impact, for which they were paid.

7) He hated the classic My Way and said it was “self-serving and self-indulgent” but he could not stop people from loving it.

8) Residents of Hoboken were unhappy when a street was named Frank Sinatra Drive after him because they believed he had largely ignored his hometown.

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