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The Intersection of Science, Art, Music & Humanities

Celebrating Sinatra and Humanitarianism

Sunday, December 09, 2018

The noblest of all causes, charity towards your fellow man—the only investment in the world that pays a 100 percent dividend.  

—Frank Sinatra 

Sinatra's birthday, December 12, has  always been the official friends and family cocktail/tree-trimming opening party of the Christmas holiday season for the Troyer family. These days, like most of the country, many folks seem to start putting up Christmas trees and other decorations on Thanksgiving weekend, even when it's as early as it was this year. 


Today's Sunday Morning Stop at the Intersection of Science, Art, Music, and Humanities celebrates Sinatra once again, since it's the Sunday before what would have been his upcoming 103 birthday. The video is from a brilliant concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall. 

This concert was broadcast as a CBS musical television special in February 1971. Grace Kelly, the charming princess of Monaco, introduces Sinatra, who performs Great American Songbook standards that audiences of most any age will probably recognize.


I promise you are in for a listening treat, since his formidable instincts, masterful phrasing, and uncluttered, natural emotion rarely fails to get under the listener’s skin, no matter how many times you hear him deliver a standard lyric.


No one has ever been able to do Sinatra, quite like Sinatra. 

His biographer, John Lahr, once noted, “Sinatra presented the song like a landscape he’d restored; painting himself into the picture so masterfully that it was impossible to imagine it without him. In the process, he became the standard-bearer for generations of popular singers who sought to keep that particular flame alive.”

Sinatra the humanitarian

He was a tireless philanthropist, credited with giving an estimated billion dollars to charities, hospitals, universities, and individuals in need. His donations and appearances helped to establish orphanages, homes for disabled children, colleges and much more.

Sinatra received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 1971 Academy Awards, but research suggests that most of his philanthropic contributions were never made public until after his death. Watch the Gregory Peck presentation below. 


Three life lessons learned from Sinatra by Eileen Budd

1. Don’t Give Up on Your Dreams—have faith in yourself and never give up.

2.  Fight for What’s Right—stand up for what you believe and do something about it.

 3. Be Good to Others—be a kind human being and help where you can.

Sinatra was a major proponent of equal rights, and it’s been reported by many that he had no tolerance for racism. In 1945, he starred in a short film, The House I Live In, to oppose anti-semitism and prejudice at the end of World War II. The film was a plea for understanding and acceptance amongst people of different races, colors, and religions. It received a special Oscar award in 1946. 


Sadly, lessons from The House I Live In still seem as necessary with some people in our country today as they were in 1945. 

Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, Favid Amess and the Biosyntrx staff