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article imageFrank Sinatra's first driver's license available on auction day

By Anne Sewell     Jun 26, 2014 in Entertainment
Boston - If you are looking for something original to leave to your kids, how about bidding for Frank Sinatra's very first New Jersey driver's license, on auction Thursday in Boston. It even comes complete with a typo, but they did get the eye color right
Yellowing, a little creased and text only, the license was issued in 1934 to one Francis Sintra [sic] who was living at 841 Garden St., Hoboken, New Jersey at the time. It tells us that he was 5 feet 8 inches tall. While the name is spelled wrong, they did, however, correctly state that the holder of the license had blue eyes.
The driver's license includes Sinatra's signature, and we can see he was a mere 19 years old at the time. This was just one year before he got his first big break in the music industry, so a valuable signature indeed.
Along with the driver’s license comes a letter, dated March 12, 1940, to the state commissioner of motor vehicles. The letter, which can be viewed here, was sent by Arthur Mullen, of the firm Armstrong and Mullen, the lawyer of a man involved in a car accident with Sinatra. The letter insists that Ol’ Blue Eyes' driving privileges should be revoked until he pays for the damages in the case of “Kolakowski vs. Sinatra.”
The full text of the letter, according to the RR Auction website, reads as follows:
“We wish to refer you to your letter of July 13, 1939, and to advise you that in the above matter, although judgement was obtained and you permitted Mr. Sinatra to use his license under a settlement agreement, that no payment whatsoever has been made since July 17, 1939 and that the sum of $7.50, is the only sum that has ever been paid. Won’t you be so kind as to revoke the license at this time until the judgement has been paid.”
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)
Traced over pencil notation, the lower left of the letter reads, “Total $165.00, Revoke GBS 3/16/40.” It is unknown whether Sinatra actually did pay up.
While the original cost of the license was $3, times have changed and by June 25, 2014, online bidding had reached $3,700. The documents are being sold by Boston-based RR Auction.
Anyone interested in bidding should do so by 6 p.m. on June 26.
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra, born December 12, 1915, died May 14, 1998 was an American singer and film actor more commonly known as Ol' Blue Eyes.
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