Sinatra held differing political views throughout his life.
Born in 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey, Sinatra's parents had immigrated to the United States in 1895 and 1897 respectively. His mother, Dolly Sinatra (1896-1977), was a Democratic Party ward boss
Sinatra, was an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party until 1968.Sinatra remained a supporter of the Democratic Party until the late 1960s when he switched his allegiance to the Republican Party.
Political activities 1944-1968
In 1944 after sending a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sinatra was invited to meet Roosevelt at the White House, where he agreed to become part of the Democratic party's voter registration drives.He donated $5,000 to the Democrats for the 1944 presidential election, and by the end of the campaign was appearing at two or three political events every day.
After World War II, Sinatra's politics grew steadily more left wing, and he became more publicly associated with the Popular Front. He started reading progressive literature, and supported many organizations that were later identified as front organizations of the Communist Party USA by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s, though Sinatra was never brought before the Committee.
Sinatra spoke at a number of New Jersey high schools in 1945, where students had gone on strike in opposition to racial integration. Later that year Sinatra would appear in The House I Live In, a short film that stood against racism. The film was scripted by Albert Maltz, with the title song written by Earl Robinson and Abel Meeropol (under the pseudonym of Lewis Allen).
In 1948, Sinatra supported the candidacy of Henry Wallace
In January, 1961, Sinatra and Peter Lawford organized the Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C., held on the evening before new President John F. Kennedy was sworn into office. The event, featuring many big show business stars, was an enormous success, raising a large amount of money for the Democratic Party. Sinatra also organized an Inaugural Gala in California in 1962 to welcome second term Democratic Governor Pat Brown.
Sinatra's move towards the Republicans seems to have begun when he was snubbed by President Kennedy in favour of Bing Crosby, a rival singer and a Republican, for Kennedy's visit to Palm Springs in 1962. Kennedy had planned to stay at Sinatra's home over the Easter holiday weekend, but decided against doing so because of problems with Sinatra's connections to organized crime. Sinatra had invested a lot of his own money in upgrading the facilities at his home, in anticipation of the president's visit. President Kennedy's brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was intensifying his own investigations into organized crime figures at the time, such as Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, who had earlier stayed at Sinatra's home. The President and Giancana were also sharing the favours of mistress Judith Campbell, who was in frequent contact with the president. Giancana's under-the-table influence had been critical in capturing Illinois for the Democrats in the presidential election of 1960.
Political activities 1970-1984
On February 27, 1970 Sinatra sang at The White House as part of a tribute to senator Everett Dirksen. Over the summer Sinatra supported another Republican candidate as he declared for Ronald Reagan in his race for a second term as the Governorship of California. Sinatra was also good friends with Vice-President Spiro Agnew. Sinatra said he agreed with the Republican Party on most positions, except that of abortion.
After a lifetime of supporting Democratic presidential candidates, Sinatra supported Richard Nixon for re-election in the 1972 U.S. presidential election. In 1973, Spiro Agnew resigned the vice presidency, amid charges of bribery, extortion and tax fraud; Sinatra helped Agnew pay some of his legal bills that he faced after his exit from office.
Sinatra is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan.In the 1980 U.S. presidential election, Sinatra supported Ronald Reagan, and donated $4 million to Reagan's campaign. Sinatra said he supported Reagan as he was “the proper man to be the President of the United States…it's so screwed up now, we need someone to straighten it out”. Reagan's victory gave Sinatra his closest relationship with the White House since the early 1960s, as a result of which Sinatra arranged Reagan's Presidential gala, as he had done for John F. Kennedy, some 20 years previously.
In 1984 Sinatra returned to his birthplace in Hoboken, New Jersey, bringing with him President Reagan, who was in the midst of campaigning for the 1984 U.S. presidential election. Reagan had made Sinatra a fund-raising ambassador as part of the Republicans' 'Victory 84’ get-the-vote-out-drive
· 1 decade ago