Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Immigrant of the Day: Bob Hope

180pxbob_hope_lackland_afb Bob Hope (May 29, 1903–July 27, 2003), was an English-born American entertainer who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, on radio and television, in movies, and in performing tours for U.S. military personnel.  Hope was well known for his good natured humor and career longevity.

Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons. His English father was a stonemason and his Welsh mother was a light opera singer but later had to find work as a cleaning woman. The family moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1908, traveling to the United States on board the SS Philadelphia. They were inspected on Ellis Island.  At the age of 17, Hope became a U.S. citizen in 1920.

Bob Hope is recognized as “The Most Honored Entertainer” by The Guinness Book of World Records.  But it was a long road to the top.  As a young boy, Hope worked part-time jobs before focusing on a vaudeville career. He toured the country as a performer with a series of sidekicks. Taking the advice of friends, Hope eventually began performing as a stand-up comedian. The one-man act was such a success that he was able to form his own company in Chicago and later moved to New York to begin his radio career.

Hope first appeared on the radio show "The Intimate Revue" in 1935. He made two other brief radio appearances between 1935 and 1937, before starting "The Pepsodent Show" on September 27, 1938. The show was a huge success, attracting regular guest stars such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby.

During World War II, Hope focused his energy on entertaining US troops around the world, a tradition that he continued for decades.  The rest is history.  Hope established himself as one of the most popular and beloved entertainers of the 20th century.  He hosted 284 prime time television specials and starred in 60 motion pictures.  Hope died July 29, 2003 at the age of 100.

See Hope taking a playful jab at Democrats in this movie clip.



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