I recently had an emergency. My Australian shepherd, Dotty, broke her hip in a freak accident. I had to stay calm, which was hard because I recently lost Dotty’s sister to heart disease. In the midst of my mental storm, I prayed to St. Jude for resolve. As quickly as I panicked is how quickly my prayer was answered.
Grateful, I started to think about all the wonderful work done by St. Jude’s Ranch for Children here in Boulder City. St. Jude’s Ranch helps abused and at-risk children and holds its own star power to help raise awareness and funds to keep its programs going.
In 1966, Boulder City residents Claudine and Shelby Williams helped create the first fundraiser for St. Jude’s and its programs by organizing an A-list attended fundraiser called Night of Stars in Las Vegas. According to StJudesRanch.org, “With the help of Forrest Duke, the entertainment columnist at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, they convinced stars including Jack Benny, Shecky Greene, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra to perform. Held November 15, 1966, at the Riviera Hotel, the event was a great success, raising more than $30,000.”
Hope was one of the celebrities to help obtain the financial backing for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, but he was also a fan of Las Vegas and visited Hoover Dam a few times. Born Leslie Townes Hope on May 29, 1903 in London, the actor and comedian started his entertainment career with NBC radio in 1934 after his family immigrated to the United States. He went on to work under contract in short films with a company called Educational Pictures in New York.
Hope had a long career in radio, movies and live stage appearances. He had an even longer list of extramarital affairs, a list Hope didn’t try hard to hide.
He was married to singer Dolores Reade Hope for 69 years; at least, that is what is assumed. According to a 2014 article in the New York Post, no marriage license for the couple ever appeared and there are rumors circling the internet alluding to an open marriage. Other online rumors imply Bob Hope couldn’t marry Dolores Reade Hope legally because he was already secretly married to another woman. The book “Hope: Entertainer of the Century” by Richard Zoglin examines all the rumors, evidence and lifestyle choices of Bob Hope over the span of his 100 years on Earth.
Regardless of if Bob Hope was a womanizer or not, had an open marriage or not, or was involved with polygamy, he still did a lot for charity, including St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. I believe what we do behind closed doors is our own business, and the assumptions people make are just that. It is how we treat one another that truly counts. Bob Hope was a man of charity, not just with St. Jude’s, but with Fight for Sight, a nonprofit that funds medical research in vision and ophthalmology, and with the USO.
After going through this emergency with my dog Dotty, I know it is the people like Bob Hope, who go the extra mile to take charitable action, who should be recognized for their daily saintly actions. Thank you to everyone at Boulder City Animal Hospital for your saintly actions.
And if you are curious about Bob Hope’s personal life outside of Hollywood then my Throwback Thursday book recommendation is “Hope: Entertainer of the Century.” If you like Bob Hope as an actor and are seeking something good to watch today, my movie recommendation is “The Cat and the Canary” from 1939. It’s a murder mystery from the point of view of a very eccentric family.
Tanya Vece is a ghostwriter and independent marketing specialist. She can be reached on Instagram @TanyaLVece.