Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer who is considered one of the finest vocalists of all time, renowned for his impeccable phrasing and timing. Many critics place him alongside Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley and The Beatles as one of the most important popular music figures of the 20th century.
Sinatra launched a second career as a dramatic film actor, and became admired for a screen persona distinctly tougher than his smooth singing style. Sinatra also had a larger-than-life presence in the public eye, and as The Chairman of the Board became an American icon, known for his brash, sometimes swaggering attitude, as embodied by his signature song My Way.
He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was the only child of a quiet Sicilian fireman father, Anthony Martin Sinatra (1894-1969). Anthony had emigrated to the United States in 1895. His mother, Natalie Della Gavarante (1896-1977), was a talented, tempestuous Ligurian, who worked as a part-time abortionist. She was known as Dolly, and emigrated in 1897. Although it is part of the Sinatra folklore that Frank had an impoverished childhood, he was actually brought up in middle-class surroundings, due to his father's secure job as a fireman, and his mother's strong political ties in Hoboken.