When LBJ slighted Sinatra
May 7, 2007 - 11:14:31 AM

New York, May 7 - John F. Kennedy and Frank Sinatra were close friends, but when Lyndon Johnson took over after Kennedy's assassination, the legendary singer couldn't establish the same rapport with the new president.

According to reports, the late Jack Valenti, who was special assistant to Johnson, has narrated in his upcoming memoir 'This Time, This Place' an incident demonstrating the strained relationship between the two.

He once got a call from Johnson's wife, Lady Bird, after she saw Sinatra's name on a guest list for a state dinner. Valenti went immediately to see the president and learnt that Sinatra's mob connections had come back to haunt him.

Valenti writes: 'LBJ looked at me sourly. 'Bobby Kennedy - told me it would not be suitable to have Sinatra. He has some friends who aren't the kind he ought to have, and Bobby thinks it wise to avoid him'. I was crushed. Thank god the invitations had not gone out... I never told Frank about this slight.'

Valenti later became the head of the Motion Picture Association of America. He died last week at the age of 85.

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