Francis Albert Sinatra (born December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey; died May 14, 1998 in Los Angeles, California) was an Italian American Grammy Award winning jazz singer, Academy Award winning actor, founder of Reprise Records and member of The Rat Pack. Beginning his musical career in the Swing Era along with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a highly successful solo artist, releasing 59 studio albums and becoming the idol of the 'bobby soxers'.
His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs For Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly With Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records (finding success with albums such as Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, and fraternized with the Rat Pack and President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s. Sinatra turned fifty in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way". Sinatra attempted to weather the changing tastes in popular music, but with dwindling album sales and after appearing in several poorly received films, he retired in 1971. Coming out of retirement in 1973, he recorded several albums, scoring a hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York", and toured both within the United States and internationally until a few years before his death in 1998.
Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey and had three children; Nancy, Frank Jr. and Tina by his first wife Nancy Barbato. He was married three more times, to the actresses Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow and finally to Barbara Marx, to whom he was married at his death.
Sinatra is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. One of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century, Sinatra had a popularity that was later matched only by Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson. American music critic Robert Christgau called him "the greatest singer of the 20th century".