Frank Sinatra’s Wife Said Nearly Dying as a Baby Impacted Him for Life 


  • Frank Sinatra’s mother had a difficult birth.
  • Frank Sinatra’s experience as a baby had a lasting impact on the singer.
  • The last words of Frank Sinatra are heartbreaking. 
Frank Sinatra | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty

When Frank Sinatra was a baby, his family did not believe he would survive. The birth was difficult for his mother, and the family worried that both she and the newborn Sinatra would die. After some quick action by his grandmother, Sinatra did survive and went on to become one of the most recognizable names in music. According to his wife, however, this early-in-life experience had a profound impact on the singer. 

Frank Sinatra almost died when he was a baby

Sinatra, who was born on Dec. 12, 1915, was a 13.5-pound baby. This did not make birth easy on his mother, Dolly. The attending doctor used forceps to help her. 

According to Sinatra’s official website, he was not breathing at first. Luckily, his grandmother was an experienced midwife. While the doctor attended to his mother, his grandmother ran him under cold water until he began crying. He was a healthy baby, with the exception of a punctured eardrum and scarring left behind by the forceps.

The scarring was particularly noticeable on the left side of Sinatra’s face. He was reportedly embarrassed by the scars and wore makeup to cover them. He also avoided being photographed on his left side.

Frank Sinatra’s wife said this experience as a baby had a profound impact on him

Sinatra’s fourth wife, Barbara Sinatra, said that the early brush with death led Sinatra to make the most of his life. She explained that this trait was particularly noticeable as he aged.

“Even though we were still so happy together, there was no longer any escaping the fact that Frank was getting old,” she wrote in the book Lady Blue Eyes: My Life With Frank Sinatra. “He never lost his humor about it, though, and he wasn’t ready to give up just yet. The person who’d defied the odds from his near fatal birth and lived every day since as if it was his last was not going to go gently into that good night.”

She shared his joking response to the question of what he wanted for his birthday.

“For his eighty-first birthday, when someone asked him what he wanted, he replied, ‘Another birthday?'”

What were the singer’s last words?

Sinatra lived past his 82nd birthday, but his health was declining. On May 14, 1998, the famed singer died of a heart attack. His manager, Tony Oppedisano, witnessed the singer’s last words.

“He just looked up at the two of us and said curtly: ‘I’m losing,'” Oppedisano told The Mirror.

Sinatra didn’t seem worried by his revelation.

“He wasn’t panicked,” Oppedisano said. “He was just resigned to the fact that he had given it his best but he wasn’t going to come through. I told him I loved him but those were the last words I ever heard him say before he passed away.”

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