DECEMBER 12, 1915

Frank Sinatra almost died the day he was born. The doctor had trouble getting the huge 13½-pound baby out of his tiny mother, a woman less than five feet tall. Using forceps, the doctor tugged away, ripping and scarring the baby’s ear, cheek and neck, and puncturing his eardrum. But the baby wasn’t breathing, so his grandmother Rose, an experienced midwife, grabbed him from the doctor and held him under cold running water until he gasped his first breath and cried out. Francis Albert Sinatra entered the world fighting for his life–and he won.

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