Sinatra's N.J. hometown celebrates singer's 100th birthday

TRENTON, N.J. -- Frank Sinatra was the Chairman of the Board, Ol' Blue Eyes and The Voice. But "Slacksy O'Brien?"

See Full Article

That was an early nickname for Sinatra in the Hoboken neighbourhood in the U.S. state of New Jersey where he grew up because, as a youngster, he wore nice clothes.

Some young-at-heart residents of Hoboken might be raising a glass to the award-winning singer and actor on Saturday on what would have been his 100th birthday.

A look back at a century of Sinatra:


Francis Albert Sinatra was born on Dec. 12, 1915, in the Hudson River waterfront city that was home to German, Irish and Italian immigrants.

His father, Anthony, was a boxer who fought in Irish gyms as "Marty O'Brien" before becoming a firefighter and tavern owner. His mother, known as "Dolly," was connected to the local political machine.

Even though the family initially lived in a cold-water apartment at 415 Monroe St., they eventually had such luxuries as a radio, telephone and car while his mother made sure her son had nice clothes, Hoboken Historical Museum director Robert Foster said.


The high school dropout delivered the Jersey Observer newspaper and worked at a shipyard.

The car -- and a driver's license in which his name was misspelled SINTRA -- helped gain him a spot in 1935 with the singing group the Hoboken Four. They won first prize on a national radio program for amateur entertainers.

He became a singing waiter at The Rustic Cabin in Englewood Cliffs, where he met songwriter Cole Porter, and forgot the words to Porter's hit, "Night And Day," the 100 Sinatra website said.

Radio led Sinatra to big bands and stardom.


Sinatra offered his assistance to the FBI in 1950, according to a confidential memorandum obtained in 1998 by The Associated Press. It showed Sinatra felt there was an opportunity to "do some good for his country under the direction of the FBI." He was "willing to do anything even if it affects his livelihood and costs him his job," the memo said. The FBI turned down the offer.

The file also contained Sinatra's mug shot, taken by the Bergen County Sheriff's Office in 1938, after his arrest on a seduction charge that was later dropped.


Sinatra's Rat Pack persona is associated with Las Vegas, but he gets credit for filling Atlantic City's casino showrooms with top talent after he appeared in 1979 at the city's first casino, Resorts International.

Following a show at Atlantic City's Golden Nugget in 1983, Sinatra and Dean Martin demanded a blackjack dealer break the rules, costing the casino a $25,000 fine.

A commissioner called Sinatra "an obnoxious bully" with a "bloated ego."

Sinatra scrapped an engagement and his lawyer issued a statement saying, "He will not perform in a state where appointed officials feel the compulsion to use him as a punching bag."

His last engagement in Atlantic City was at the Sands in 1994.


People left flowers near the plaque where Sinatra's first home once stood when he died in 1998 at age 82 and the city held a memorial Mass at St. Francis Roman Catholic Church, where Sinatra was baptized. Whatever real or imagined slights felt by some residents were forgotten.

Sinatra was inducted in the first class of New Jersey's Hall of Fame in 2008. A park and the city's main post office bear his name.

The Postal Service in 2008 issued a 42-cent stamp with his image, taking the rare step of holding three ceremonies in Hoboken, New York and Las Vegas.

But for a saloon singer who usually had a drink on stage, Sinatra's ultimate honour came from Jack Daniel's, which introduced Sinatra Select whiskey in 2003.

To honour the 100th anniversary of Sinatra's birth, Jack Daniel's produced 100 barrels of 100-proof Sinatra Century, which retails for $499.99 and includes an unreleased Sinatra recording.


Latest Entertainment News

  • 'I can vote with my wallet:' boycott urges shoppers, retailers to drop Trump products

    Entertainment CBC News
    An eye-catching shoe piques your interest and draws you in. Upon closer inspection, the label leaps out at you — Ivanka Trump, in simple gold lettering — and you recoil as if stung. That's the kind of reaction behind a growing boycott of the products emblazoned with the brand of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as well as the popular, working women-targeted fashion line from his eldest daughter — who has arguably been his most influential and effective family member during the…
  • Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man: Will Marvel replace its biggest star?

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Will Robert Downey Jr. play Tony Stark in Iron Man 4? What about Chris Evans? Will he return for another solo outing as Captain America? As Marvel steps firmly into Phase 3 of its Cinematic Universe with next week’s Doctor Strange, the question of what will happen with the studio’s biggest heroes is one that president Kevin Feige faces. Source
  • Joel McHale dares to make fun of millennials in new sitcom 'The Great Indoors'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Joel McHale understands that every generation thinks the next generation is bogus. “Even when the Apache were fighting the Lakota or whatever, I'm sure they were like, 'Ugh! These kids! They don't know what the f--- they're doing! If you're going to throw your spear like that, don't come to me anymore!” McHale said. Source
  • Hanks wants to make a 'Splash' with remake

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Tom Hanks wants in on Channing Tatum's gender-swapped remake of his 1984 mermaid romantic comedy "Splash." Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are developing a new take on the film with Tatum starring as a mer-man in the part originated by Daryl Hannah. Source
  • ‘Inferno' director Ron Howard reveals why Tom Hanks is a great leading man

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Ron Howard has spent his entire working life in the public eye. A child actor, he made his film debut at age two and was famous by the age of six for playing Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. Source
  • Oasis' Liam Gallagher: The band never should have broken up

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Liam Gallagher wants to make one thing perfectly clear. He’d like to reform ‘90s Britpop band Oasis one day, but it’s not the only thing he’s got going on. “When I say it’s going to happen all I read about is loads of d---heads saying, ‘He’s desperate,’” said the former Oasis frontman. Source
  • Director 'horrified' by Alta. oilsands scenes in DiCaprio's 'Before The Flood'

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canada features prominently in Leonardo DiCaprio's new climate-change documentary "Before The Flood" and director Fisher Stevens said he was "really horrified" by scenes of the oilsands in northeastern Alberta. "It does employ a lot of people," said Stevens of the oil industry, during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where "Before the Flood" had its world premiere. Source
  • 'I would go off with Channing Tatum': Tom Hanks wants in on Splash remake

    Entertainment CBC News
    Tom Hanks wants in on Channing Tatum's gender-swapped remake of his 1984 mermaid romantic comedy Splash. Channing Tatum is set to 'play a mermaid' in the upcoming remake of the 1984 classic. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters) Source
  • Trump takes a hit: Man smashes Hollywood star of U.S. presidential candidate

    Entertainment CBC News
    Los Angeles police are investigating the vandalizing of Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Trump listens to speeches after he was honoured with the 2327th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2007. Source
  • Kim Kardashian back to filming 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' after robbery ordeal

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Kim Kardashian reportedly filmed scenes for Keeping Up With The Kardashians as she attended husband Kanye West’s concert in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Shooting of the E! TV series was put on hold to give the mother-of-two time to recover after she was bound, gagged and held at gunpoint in a Paris, France apartment as thieves grabbed jewellery and cellphones in an armed robbery earlier this month. Source