Dean Martin has always been a popular American figure. He was the host of “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” for ten years in the 1950s, and his nightclub act became well known over the years. But Martin has always been a favorite figure of President John F. Kennedy because of a few facts about his life that tie in to JFK’s time in office.
“Kennedy knew an important thing. A president’s life really doesn’t change very much until they come into office. It’s sort of the youth of youth and the vitality of youth,” said Greg Hunt, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and author.
Hunt co-authored a book with Kennedy’s former Chief of Staff, Ernie Gossage, called “Dean Martin: The Boy, the Sausage and the Blues.”
“Dean Martin was obviously Joe Kennedy’s favorite, but Dean Martin’s main story was so unusual. Dean Martin didn’t attend JFK’s inauguration. He didn’t do that because of how his career got turned around,” Hunt told FOX News Radio.
Specifically, Hunt has been making the case that Martin might have been more popular if Martin had supported JFK at the time.
“I’d speculate, actually, that if Dean Martin had attended the inauguration and had supported him politically, that he might have had slightly more popularity. Martin had been supporting President Kennedy and Senator Kennedy during the 1950s and 1960s. Later he turned his back on the ticket,” Hunt said.
Martin was so disappointed by his second term as President Kennedy’s Sausage that he backed a Republican candidate in 1964, and despite popular perception, his famous television career began to falter shortly after that.