'Frank Sinatra, 9229 Sunset Blvd.': The Little Black Books of Pop-Culture Icons

The social lives of legendary celebrities, as told by their datebooks and address records

banner_little black books.jpg

The words "little black book" conjure all kinds of salacious ideas about jet-setting playboys and Hollywood madams. The earliest black book may be Harris' List of Covent Garden Ladies—a directory of 18th-century prostitutes working in London, which sold thousands of copies annually. Since then, the little black book has evolved into more of a straightforward address book. Depending on your style, it can be a free-form collage of facts and memories about those you meet, or a rigid, alphabetized list of names and numbers.

I recently spotted Marlon Brando's little black book on Tumblr. Fascinated by the handwriting, worn pages, and contents, I went searching for other black books kept by pop-culture icons. Below, see what fascinating observations, secrets, and contacts were found hiding between the pages.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

Just In