Remembering Bob Hope

By: Lori Jane Gliha
By: Lori Jane Gliha

Fans all over the world are mourning the loss of Bob Hope. The comedy legend passed away Sunday after suffering from complications related to pneumonia.

Michelle Jefferson, formerly Michelle Royer, remembers Hope as a hard-working perfectionist. The Dewitt resident toured the Philippines and the Persian Gulf with Hope in 1987, when she became Miss USA.

Jefferson says she spent eight days traveling abroad and performing comedy skits for troops overseas. During that time, Jefferson says she never saw Bob Hope sleep. He was always working, always perfecting his script, she says.

Jefferson says she's grateful for the opportunity to work with Hope. She says on the last night they worked together, she asked him for his autograph.

Highlights in Bob Hope's life.

May 29, 1903 - Leslie Towns Hope born in Eltham, England.

1907 - Family emigrates to the United States, settling in Cleveland.

1920s - Becomes rising vaudeville star, at first as part of a dancing act.

1927 - New York stage debut in "Sidewalks of New York."

1932 - Makes radio debut on "Capitol Family Hour."

1932-36 - Appears in several important Broadway productions, including "Roberta," the 1935 "Ziegfeld Follies" and "Red, Hot and Blue."

1934 - Marries singer Dolores Reade. They adopted four children: Linda, Anthony, William Kelly and Honora.

1934 - First radio show premieres, beginning a record 62-year affiliation with NBC.

1938 - Feature film debut in "The Big Broadcast of 1938," in which he and Shirley Ross sing "Thanks for the Memory."

Feb. 23, 1939 - First Oscar appearance, presenting the awards for best short films.

Feb. 29, 1940 - First appearance as Academy Awards master of
ceremonies. In all, he served as an emcee or co-host 20 times between 1940 and 1978.

1940 - Co-stars with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour in first of the "Road" pictures, "The Road to Singapore."

May 6, 1941 - Plays first camp show for servicemen at March Field in California.

1948 - First Christmas tour for servicemen taking part in Berlin airlift.

1950 - Makes first television specials, including first Christmas special.

March 19, 1953 - Serves as co-host for first televised Oscar ceremony.

1969 - Receives Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon B. Johnson.

March 29, 1978 - Host of Oscar ceremony for the last time.

December 1990 - Goes to Persian Gulf to entertain troops on the
eve of the Gulf War; his last Christmas show for troops overseas. He joked: "If anybody tells you I was in the Civil War, I'm denying it."

May 1993 - 90th birthday celebrated with a TV special featuring
President Clinton and former presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan
and Bush.

November 1996 - NBC airs his last special, "Laughing with the Presidents."

March 1997 - U.S. Navy christens the USNS Bob Hope, a 950-foot,
33,000-ton support ship.

May 2000 - Library of Congress opens the Bob Hope Gallery of
American Entertainment.

May 23, 2003 - Turns 100 as family, fans celebrate.

July 27, 2003 - Hope dies of pneumonia.


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