Dean Martin started a career in the entertainment industry before he turned 18 and he has been there all his life. He became known as one of the Rat Pack members, alongside Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra.
Recently reasons, why he didn’t attend the inauguration of JFK in 1961, have finally come to light.
He has always been known as someone who supports his friends, it came as a surprise to people when he rejected President Kennedy’s invitation – but only so that he could support his great friend, Sammy Davis Jr.
Dean Martin is known by the majority of the people as one of the ”The Rat Packs” alongside Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr, they owned the stage for years, delivering shows after shows.
Martin was born in Steubenville, Ohio on June 7, 1917. His father was an Italian immigrant barber and he was the youngest of the two sons.
He spoke Italian throughout his childhood and was a laughing stock amongst his peers because of his accent.
“When Jerry Lewis and I were big, we used to go to parties, and everybody thought I was bigheaded and stuck up, and I wasn’t. It was because I didn’t know how to speak good English, so I used to keep my mouth shut,” Martin said in 1967.
“Well, see, I’m shy,” he added. “Always been. See, if I walk into a party, I sort of go in a corner, ’cause I don’t know what to say to people.”
Martin found out early, that education wasn’t for him and dropped out of Steubenville High School.
He started doing multiple jobs to make money. He worked as a singer in a local spaghetti restaurant, and also as an amateur welterweight fighter, as well as doing shifts as a croupier in a nightclub.
“I’m no singer,” he insisted. “I can carry a tune, and I have an easy style. But we crooners get by because we’re fairly painless.”
Two years after landing his first record deal he met Jerry Lewis.
“I turn, and I see this handsome guy in a camel’s hair coat. You can die from how handsome he was, sporting his new nose,” Lewis recalled in an interview with Today in 2005.
“And we became very friendly. He looked like he needed a friend, and I certainly did. And that was really the start.”
According to People, Martin and Lewis split on the tenth anniversary of their first show.
“When the breakup occurred, it was, it was like a sudden divorce, and I think it really, really shocked people. Because they thought Martin and Lewis would go on forever,” autobiographer Neil Daniels claimed.
Towards the end of the ’50s, Martin also made some new friends, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford – a group that came to be known as “The Rat Pack.”
“Sammy Davis Jr. helped to get JFK elected, and then JFK and his campaign decided to pay Sammy back by not allowing him to go to the inauguration because he was part of an interracial marriage,” Donahue told Fox News.
“It was Dean Martin who stood up for his friend and said, ‘I’m not going to be part of the inauguration if Sammy isn’t going.’ That really impressed me. He had a sense of honor.
The more I got to know Dean Martin, the man, the more I grew to truly love and admire him.”
Dean made sure to stand up for his great friend Sammy Davis Jr, and that’s true friendship.