A Milestone Birthday For The “Other” Frank Sinatra

Frank_ProfilesmallBy Frank Sinatra, AAP Editor

Apparently, some singer would be 100 today. His name’s familiar; I just can’t put my finger on it…

Unless you’re a square, or have been swingin’ in a cave, the world is celebrating the Centennial of the Chairman of the Board. The “real” Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915. And that skinny mama’s boy from Hoboken went on to have quite a life. Google his name and you’ll get about 46,300,000 results in .68 seconds. “Ol’ Blue Eyes” sold more than 150 million records worldwide; he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “From Here to Eternity;” and won 11 Grammys throughout his career. That is the life’s work of a cultural icon.

But that “other” Frank’s reputation isn’t all shiny and glamorous. Frank’s temper and stubbornness was legendary, as was his womanizing. His relationship with the Mafia and his idolization of mobsters like Sam Giancana got him into a lot of trouble. He drank too much, got into a lot of fights, and bullied a lot of people to get his way.

Photo credit: John Ziomek

The not so famous “Frank.” Photo credit: John Ziomek

Having the name that I do, my life is permanently linked to his. Being “a” Frank Sinatra has had its ups and downs. It was IMPOSSIBLE to make a collect phone call as a kid. And dinner reservations? Fuhgeddaboudit. But it has gotten me out of a traffic ticket or two. And when I was doing public relations work in Philadelphia for a time, there were a few reporters who called me back just so they could say that they talked to Frank Sinatra. And to this today, when I cold call a member of the media, I start with the following line: “Hi, this is Frank Sinatra. Yes, that is my real name. I’m not making it up. This isn’t a prank phone call.” I also call my signature, “my autograph.” Please don’t judge.

This name sort of has a responsibility that comes with it. I’ve read quite a few books about the really famous guy who had my name first, from “The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin,'” to “His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra.” It’s truly amazing, how much living the man squeezed into 82 years. His life and legacy are a lot to live up to, if that’s what you’re trying to do.

The one Frank Sinatra that I truly strive to be like is my father, who also shares the famous crooner’s name. And that’s tough enough to do. He’s a good, hard-working, honest man who has spent a lifetime going above and beyond for his family. Dad has set a wonderful example for all of his children. And while I still get a lot of it wrong, at least I know what the standard is. And I have “High Hopes” that I’ll get there someday.

But in the end, I can’t be anyone else but myself. I have to be the best Frank Sinatra that I can be. My name – regardless of who had it first – is still my own; there isn’t anyone like me and there never will. I’ll try to borrow some of the famous guy’s swagger and Dad’s heart. I’ll still be stubborn, and I’ll never get that math thing down – sorry, Dad – but I’ll make it.

After all, if I can make it… well, you get the idea.





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