Make the Call

Meet Jim Mahoney, the man behind the Frank Sinatra Artist-in-Residence program at Santa Clara.

Frank Sinatra. Photo by The AP
Frank Sinatra in The Detective (1968). Photo courtesy Associated Press.

There was a time when Hollywood stars in trouble knew just who to call to get them out of it—Jim Mahoney. Mahoney was a top PR guy. He is also dad to two Broncos, Jim ’77 and Sean Mahoney ’81.

In that role, the elder Mahoney recruited one of his clients to perform at an SCU fundraiser, Frank Sinatra, sparking what would become a longtime fund for visiting artists and scholarships for art students.

In Get Mahoney, find juicy details from Mahoney’s career, including getting stars sober and bailing them out of jail. Mahoney represented notable names, including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dianne Warwick, and, of course, Frank Sinatra, whom he got to perform at SCU’s Mayer Theater.

That visit laid the groundwork for the Sinatra Artist-in-Residence program at SCU. Established in 1980, the Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts energizes the students arts community on campus. Recent chairs include Mark Duplass, BD Wong, and Rhiannon Giddens.

Mahoney’s illustrious career all began with a visit to Clark Gable’s house in Encino and an invitation from Howard Strickling to come to the studio for a job.

“I was nothing more than a handyman, and I learned a lot at the studio,” Mahoney says in an interview. “I was under good hands and stewardship. That was the beginning of it, and it got better for the next 50 years.”

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