HOBOKEN, N.J. — On May 14, 1998, the world lost Frank Sinatra. Now 20 years later, his legacy lives on in his hometown of Hoboken, N.J., where he was born on Dec. 12, 1915.
“We still get so many people coming from all over the world to connect with Frank Sinatra,” said Robert Foster, director of the Hoboken Historical Museum. “Anyone who spends the first 19 to 20 years of their life [some place], that does form your personality quite a bit.”
Foster says there are dozens of physical sites throughout Hoboken that people claim have a connection to Sinatra. One of the most popular ones to visit is 909 Hudson St., the home he bought his parents once he made it big.
“Frank’s mother is really credited for really pushing him,” said Foster. “In the end, it was Frank himself who buys a house for his parents. How many kids get to buy a house for their parents? I think it’s very symbolic of success.”
Later in life, Sinatra spent time in the house, considered one of the nicest single-family homes in Hoboken, when he would visit from California.
“He would meet Ava Gardner there and they would have spaghetti dinner with his parents,” said Foster.
You can also visit the Hoboken Fire Department Museum at 213 Bloomfield St. His dad worked in town as a fire captain.
“There are pictures there of Frank Sinatra’s father [and] there is a fire truck that [Frank] may have rode on,” said Foster.
For a taste of what his favorite food was, visit Dom’s Bakery at 506 Grand St. Sinatra reportedly would get their bread delivered to him years after he moved away.
“Food is kind of a powerful connector, and if you try to think of, ‘hey this is the bread that Frank grew up on,’ it’s kind of a nice connection," said Foster.
For those wanting to learn more about "Old Blue Eyes," The Hoboken Historical Museum has a permanent exhibit called the Sinatra Lounge. Visitors can listen to his music, watch rare videos of past performances, and write sentiments about the singer in a sign-in book.
The museum has also mapped out a self-guided Sinatra walking tour that has over 20 places to visit around town. Printed brochures can be picked up at the museum at 1301 Hudson St., and additional information can be found below.