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The Gaming Hall of Fame

1997 Inductee

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra

Entertainer

 

Francis Albert Sinatra (1915-1998) was one of the most iconic singers of the 20th century, and one of the top casino entertainers in history.

Sinatra, born in Hoboken, New Jersey, first sang publicly as a teenager and achieved early fame in the big bands of Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. In his initial burst of popularity with bobby soxers, Sinatra released several records with Columbia. In the 1950s, Sinatra revived his career with a series of albums for Capital Records that defined the hip, swinging era.

Sinatra first performed in Las Vegas at the Desert Inn in 1951, and later became a featured attraction at the Sands. In the early 1960s, Sinatra teamed with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. to form the Rat Pack. Appearing unexpectedly at each other shows, the Rat Pack defined Vegas cool for a generation. Sinatra even became a casino owner, briefly owning shares in the Sands and Lake Tahoe's Cal-Nevada casino before choosing to concentrate on his entertainment career.

When performing solo, Sinatra remained a huge draw, with a series of engagements at Caesars Palace in the 1970s. From there, Sinatra's performance schedule reads like a catalog of gaming's growth: his appearances in Atlantic City helped to establish that town as a "real" gaming destination, and his 1993 opening of Foxwoods' theater did the same for that Connecticut casino.

A worldwide superstar who performed in venues far and wide, Sinatra nevertheless maintained a special kinship with casino audiences. The relationship was reciprocal, and devoted fans made Sinatra, arguably, the most popular solo artist in casino history. After Sinatra passed away in 1998, the lights of the Strip were dimmed in recognition: a final, fitting tribute.

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Last modified Tuesday, 10-Mar-2009 15:34:26 PDT

 

 

This page last updated Tuesday, 10-Mar-2009 15:34:26 PDT .