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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Birmingham, England)
For Immediate Release                                       May 15, 1998

                      STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Hillary and I were deeply saddened to hear of the death of a 

musical legend and an American icon--Frank Sinatra. Early in his long career, fans dubbed him "The Voice." And that was the first thing America noticed about Frank Sinatra: that miraculous voice, strong and subtle, wisecracking and wistful, streetwise but defiantly sweet. In time he became so much more. Sinatra was a spellbinding performer, on stage or on screen, in musicals, comedies and dramas. He built one of the world's most important record companies. He won countless awards, from the Grammy--nine times--to the Academy Award, to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And he dedicated himself to humanitarian causes.

When I became President, I had never met Frank Sinatra, although I was an enormous admirer of his. I had the opportunity after I became President to get to know him a little, to have dinner with him, to appreciate on a personal level what fans around the world, including me, appreciated from afar.

Frank Sinatra will be missed profoundly by millions around the world. But his music and movies will ensure that "Ol' Blue Eyes" is never forgotten. Today, I think every American would have to smile and say he really did do it his way.

Hillary and I would like to offer our condolences to Frank's wife, Barbara, and to his children, Nancy, Frank Jr., and Tina. Our hearts are with them today.