The Sinatra family owned an Irish Bar in Hoboken.
Marty O’Brien’s (a.k.a. “M.O.B”) sat at 333 Jefferson Street, on the corner of 4th.
Frank’s father, Anthony Martin Sinatra, was a Sicilian-born boxer who went by the name of “Marty O’Brien” in order to be allowed to fight in Hoboken’s Irish-only gymnasiums.
In Why Sinatra Matters, author Pete Hamill explains that, “Assuming an Irish name was not unusual in that era of boxing.” One reason was the fact that, “there were not enough Irish fighters to satisfy the large number of Irish fans.”
While the Voice was all Frank, he got his second most famous feature from his Pops.
“With his blue eyes, Martin Sinatra could pass for Irish,” says Hamill.
Marty stuck with the whole Irish thing, going on to become not only a tavern-owner but a firefighter as well.
Meanwhile Frank was given the nickname “Slacksy O’Brien,” as he would saunter around Hoboken in his fancy dress pants as a younger fella—before “The Voice” took off. That buttoned-up professional look would eventually take him places, as “Ol’ Blue Eyes” made his way to become “Chairman of the Board.”
Frank had a lot of nicknames.
Here’s Hoboken’s Frank with Dublin’s Bono, singing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” off the 1993 Duets album.
Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day — just don’t get under anyone’s skin…