1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

Bob Hope

Bob Hope was one of the most beloved performers in history. He has earned over 2,000 awards and honors, including, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2 honorary Oscars, 2 Emmys, the National Medal of Arts and 58 honorary degrees. He has four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was famous for his USO Shows, where he entertained United States troops in every major conflict from World War II to the 1991 Gulf War. For his long career and efforts, he hosted the Academy Awards more than anyone else and has been awarded a total of 5 special Academy Awards but never one for acting, which he always coveted. He is the holder of two Guinness Book of Records: Most Honored Entertainer, and Entertainer with the longest running contract with a single network (NBC – 61 years). His signature song ‘Thanks for the Memories’ was first sung in the film ‘The Big Broadcast of 1938’ (1938). Born Leslie Townes Hope in England he immigrated with his parents to Cleveland, Ohio in 1908. He reportedly changed his name to Bob when his early classmates teased him over his first name. He became a United States citizen in 1920. He continued making films all through his career, but some became notable in the public’s memory, including a series of ‘Road’ films, starting with the ‘Road to Singapore’ (1940) with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, which became a hit. Several additional ‘Road’ films were made, including ‘Road to Zanzibar,’ ‘Road to Morocco,’ ‘Road to Utopia,’ ‘Road to Rio,’ ‘Road to Bali,’ and ‘Road to Hong Kong.’ Beginning in May 1941, Hope became involved with the United Services Organization (USO), and organized entertainment to the troops during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War, giving it up only in 2001. He even organized entertainment for the troops between the wars, and served as the USO Entertainment Coordinator from 1941 until 2001, finally relinquishing his position to Wayne Newton. Because of his overwhelming patriotic stance, he was made an honorary veteran by an Act of Congress in 1997, and was given an honorary knighthood (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976. Queen Elizabeth also made him an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) in 1998, in recognition of his contribution to film, song, and to the entertainment of troops. Due to savvy California real estate investing in the San Fernando Valley with his pal and fellow golf enthusiast, Bing Crosby, he died one of the wealthiest show biz stars ever, worth over $1 billion dollars. Bob Hope died just 60 days past his 100th Birthday, beating out his good friend by just 17 days. He is buried in a huge mausoleum, in a private cemetery built exclusively for him and his family, just behind Mission San Fernando Rey de EspaƱa in Mission Hills California.