VKN Badass Guys: Dean Martin

Throughout history there have been exceptional men who’ve inspired us by the way they lead their lives and accomplish success. This is VK Nagrani’s Badass Guys Series.

Dean Martin, or Dino Paul Crocetti depending on who you were, brought endless joy to audiences around the world with his singing, acting, comedy and film producing. In total, Martin amassed a body of over 50 films, 30 albums and the mega-hit Dean Martin Show that ran on television for nearly a decade. But aside from his stage talents, Martin won over audiences with his nonchalance, grace and charisma.

Here’s our VK Nagrani breakdown of why Dean Martin is badass:

1. He is the “King of Cool”

Playboy Magazine once called Martin the “coolest man who ever lived.” But Martin had been cool all his life, known by acquaintances, friends and family for his mysterious nature and lack of interest in attention or outside validation. Martin even dropped out of school in the tenth grade because he thought he was smarter than his teacher.

2. He Held Diverse Jobs

Martin’s road to success wasn’t paved in gold. Before hitting it big, he held jobs as a speakeasy croupier, a steel mill worker, blackjack dealer, booze bootlegger and even as a welterweight boxer. Martin was also drafted in the Army during World War II but was medically discharged after only serving for a year stateside.

3. He Was No Stranger to Failure

Before Martin became Martin, he worked in a variety of local bands, billing himself as Dino Martini. He eventually graduated to nightclubs where he emulated the style of Bing Crosby while getting by on his looks.

Martin flopped plenty of shows in the early and mid-‘40s, including his debut with Jerry Lee Lewis. Upon the threat of being fired if the second show didn’t improve, Martin and Lewis developed their signature Vaudeville, slapstick-drenched act that would garner them plenty of fame and future films. Martin’s first film, Ten Thousand Bedrooms also failed miserably at the box office.

4. He’s a Member of the Ratpack

A legend’s legend doesn’t get more cemented than being a member of the Rat Pack. Martin shared lead in the Rat Pack, along with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., with other members Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. Today the Ratpack is immortalized in films like Pepe, Sergeants 3 and Ocean’s 11.

5. He Had a Croon from Heaven

It might sound weird to associate a “croon” with Heaven, but Martin did it. His captivating live performances and soothing voice captured audience’s hearts for decades. Today Martin is most known for his smash hits “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” “Everybody Loves Somebody,” “That’s Amore,” and “Sway.” All topped the charts in the ‘60s, with the exception of “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” of which has received more notice in recent years with its appearance in the remake of Ocean’s Eleven.

 6. He was a Family Man

Despite him being married three times and the Ratpack’s reputation for womanizing, Martin was actually quite the family man. His second wife Jeanne has been widely quoted as saying Martin was home every night for dinner. Not to mention how the tragic death of Martin’s son cemented Martin into a depression late in his life that he would never get out of.

Keep checking the VK Nagrani blog for more editions of our Badass Guys Series.

My work is about far more than creating clothing and a responsibility to myself, the consumer and the human existence. I do not design clothing, I engineer a wardrobe that offers versatility, function and sophistication. I am more focused on raising the bar and creating a timeless aesthetic. Trends are futile. For those that seek the exquisite, you will truly enjoy my work. After all, it was created with you in mind.​​


  1. Posts like this make the innrteet such a treasure trove

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