JFK, Sinatra and the Mob | Pocketmags.com

Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 300+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 26000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at $9.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade Now for $9.99 Learn more
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points

JFK, Sinatra and the Mob

How did the leader of the Rat Pack, a man with rumoured Mafia connections, help JFK reach the White House? Nige Tassell tells a story of corruption, greed and perhaps even murder…
THICK AS THIEVES Frank Sinatra and his pal John F Kennedy are all smiles at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in February 1960. But how long will the good times last?

Frank Sinatra was angry. Livid. Livid enough to take an axe to the fixtures and fittings of his Palm Springs home. Livid enough to storm out of the house, brandishing a sledgehammer. Livid enough to rain blows down upon the heli-pad he had recently had modified, shards of concrete flying off in all directions.

John F Kennedy was the reason for his anger. The President – his close friend – had just cancelled a March 1962 visit to Sinatra’s California residence, the desert retreat that the singer had recently upgraded, at no small cost, in advance of the presidential arrival. But this was no casual change of plans.This was a snub to Sinatra, to his standing, to his reputation. It was a loss of face that signalled the end of both their friendship and their political allegiance.

The fracture was terminal because Kennedy’s trip still went ahead. He flew out to Palm Springs as planned, but stayed with a musical rival of Sinatra’s instead – his near-neighbour Bing Crosby. What made things even worse for the lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool Democrat was that Crosby was a staunch Republican. The official explanation offered was that Crosby’s house provided a more secure base for the most powerful man on the planet. But Sinatra knew that was baloney.The real reason was that the White House didn’t want to be tainted by the singer’s close connections to some of organised crime’s biggest players.

A third party was used to deliver the message to Sinatra – Peter Lawford, one of his partners in the showbiz gang the Rat Pack who just happened to also be JFK’s brother-in-law. And, with that, the President severed all ties with Ol’ Blue Eyes – a man who may have been key to JFK’s ascendancy less than two years earlier. But the sidestepping of such potentially negative publicity was deemed to be worth the loss of friendship. Besides, the switch of venues had another advantage. Marilyn Monroe was allegedly keeping Kennedy’s bed warm round at Bing’s place.

It had all been so different. In the election year of 1960, Sinatra and the then-Senator had partied together, whether in the finest Las Vegas hotels or on the set of the Rat Pack film Ocean’s 11. The pair had stood shoulder-to-shoulder on campaign platforms. Sinatra had recorded a campaign song for the Democrat candidate. And, on the eve of JFK’s inauguration, the singer had organised and hosted a star-studded celebratory gala.

The pair made an irresistible combination – the politician and the entertainer, both with voter-friendly, matinee-idol looks. The bromance continued once Kennedy took office. “JFK was his friend,” Sinatra’s daughter Nancy later wrote. “For the patriotic American dreamer, this was the ultimate compliment: the President of the United States was his friend.”

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of BBC History Revealed Magazine - June 2016
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - June 2016
Or 499 points
Getting free sample issues is easy, but we need to add it to an account to read, so please follow the instructions to read your free issue today.
Email Address
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.15 per issue
Or 4099 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.15 per issue
Or 2699 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.61 per issue
Or 499 points

View Issues

About BBC History Revealed Magazine

The June 2016 issue of History Revealed