Frank Sinatra Reportedly Threatened to Have His Biographer ‘Whacked’

Frank Sinatra did not appreciate being the subject of jokes, rumors, or any sort of negative speculation. In 1986, he proved this when he objected to the publication of an unauthorized biography about him. Not only did the famous singer file a $2 million suit against the biographer, one of Sinatra’s friends claimed that the singer made a threat to the author’s life. Here’s how she responded to this claim.

A black and white picture of Frank Sinatra wearing a tie and clapping his hands.
Frank Sinatra | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Many speculate that Frank Sinatra had mob ties

Virtually since he rose to fame, people wondered if Sinatra had ties with the mafia. Some attributed this to the pull he had in the entertainment industry, but others pointed to specific instances of friendliness with mobsters. In 1947, Sinatra reportedly greeted Lucky Luciano warmly at a hotel. Some also claim that he met with members of Al Capone’s gang.


Sinatra’s former manager Tony Oppedisano denied these allegations.

“Wiseguys wanted to be in Frank’s inner circle and he did his best to juggle that and not let it get too heavy, but you know some people would go overboard,” he told Page Six. “Some of the guys became friends over the years and they would try to do things for him that he never asked them to do. He’d say, ‘If these guys really want to do me a favor, I wish they’d stop doing me favors!’”

He reportedly leveled a threat against one of his biographers

Despite Oppedisano’s assertion, many claim that Sinatra used his mob ties to level threats against those who crossed him. He made this clear in 1986, when journalist Kitty Kelley published the book His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra.

Sinatra was not happy with the book’s tell-all nature and made disparaging remarks about authors like Kelley in an interview with Larry King. Per the Washington Post, Sinatra sued Kelley for $2 million ahead of the book’s release, hoping to stop publication. The book delved into the nitty-gritty of Sinatra’s life, including details about his involvement with the mafia.

When Sinatra’s lawsuit failed, his longtime friend Paul Anka claimed that Sinatra threatened to have Kelley “whacked.”

“Fortunately, this was never carried through, though he had the contacts to do it,” Anka wrote, per the Daily Mail.

Years later, Kelley responded to these claims, saying she was shocked by them.

“I had always been told the opposite,” she said. “That Frank had said, ‘If anything happens to that blankety-blank, I’ll be the first one blamed.’”

At that point, Sinatra had been dead for 15 years. Still, Kelley joked, “I’ll just keep a low profile for the next week or so.”

Frank Sinatra often lashed out at those who angered him

Though Sinatra’s close friends admired him, they could admit that his temper was volatile.

“Though there was a side to Frank that I adored, he could be a difficult man, blunt to the point of rudeness,” Anka wrote. “He’d fly into a rage if your hair was unruly or your clothes were scruffy.“

When Sinatra believed Marlon Brando stole a leading role from him, he started an onset feud that some believe ended in Brando’s abduction. After John Wayne made disparaging comments about John F. Kennedy and a screenwriter Sinatra had hired, the two men nearly came to blows.

“For all his faults, Frank Sinatra lived life more fully than anyone I’ve met before or since,” Anka wrote. “There was no one like him, nor will there ever be again.”

Related Articles

Back to top button