[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Sinatra 'in mob' says biography
Frank Sinatra
Sinatra is alleged to have been carrying $3.5m in cash
Frank Sinatra narrowly escaped arrest as a Mafia courier, according to an unauthorised biography of the singer.

Authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan claim entertainer Jerry Lewis told them the late entertainer "volunteered to be a messenger" for the mob.

"He almost got caught once... in New York," Lewis is quoted as saying. If he had been arrested, he continues, "we would never have heard of him again".

Sinatra, who died in 1998, denied any connection with organised crime.

However, FBI files released after his death portrayed him as a close friend of reputed Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana.

The documents also suggested he had contact with mobster Lucky Luciano during a 1947 trip to Cuba and that his early singing career was backed by New Jersey racketeer Willie Moretti.


Lewis is quoted as saying that Sinatra went through customs with a briefcase containing "three and a half million [dollars] in fifties".

Customs officials reportedly opened the case but aborted their search.

Excerpts of the book in Vanity Fair magazine make it clear that Lewis did not witness the incident in question, but related the account "as a fact of which he had knowledge".

Sinatra is generally thought to have inspired the Johnny Fontaine character in The Godfather, a singer who uses his Mafia connections to advance his career.

Sinatra family 'win name battle'
09 Jan 04 |  Entertainment
'Virtual Sinatra' hits US stage
14 Oct 03 |  Entertainment
Sinatra offered to be FBI agent
09 May 05 |  Americas


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific