Even if Sinatra wasn't a criminal himself, he certainly knew plenty of criminals and considered many of them good friends. Despite his denials, year after year, evidence piled up indicating that Sinatra enjoyed a very special relationship with the Mafia. * * * The record shows that Sinatra's relationships with known mob figures were often more than just casual meetings with fans. He performed in clubs and theaters controlled by the Mafia. He made investments with mobsters. He used his status as a celebrity to make requests on their behalf—all the way to the Oval Office in one instance. He hosted men of honor at his home, at his hotels, even at his mother's home. He apparently valued their company as much as they valued his, and if he publicly chafed at being tarred with the Mafia brush, he often used his gangland veneer to instill fear and respect on his late-night romps in the "wee small hours of the morning."