Leslie Townes (Bob) Hope (May 29, 1903 - July 27, 2003)
Born in London, England, Bob Hope immigrated to the U.S. with his parents at the age of 5. A comedian and a dancer on stage for some years, he went seamlessly from Broadway into television and film. His first film appearance was in “The Big Broadcast of 1938,” where he sang “Thanks for the Memory,” which soon became his signature tune. He partnered with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour and appeared in the “Road to…” comedies in the 40s and early 50s as well as many others well into the 70s. His long career was celebrated by many, especially during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars where he spent much of his time entertaining the troops. The DVD which accompanies this lot shows Bob Hope on battleships and battlefields, as part of his lifelong dedication to America’s soldiers. Bob spent nearly half of his Christmases travelling to sometimes dangerous terrain, including USO tours to Alaska, Taiwan, Vietnam and more, all with the sole purpose to offer laughter to those thousands of servicemen and women who were so far from home. For these activities and for his continued contributions he was given a special Academy Award on five occasions.
The Los Angeles Sanatorium began in 1913 with a group of volunteers to house those affected by Tuberculosis, which at one time was was affecting thousands of people in the United States. The Sanatorium was opened to shelter those who were thought of as incurable. In the 1940s, the sanatorium changed its name to "The City of Hope," and began to focus on Cancer and other diseases. It is likely that Bob Hope entertained those who resided there, offering laughter as the best medicine. Just as the American troops saw Bob Hope as a savior from their everyday lives at war, so did the LA Sanatorium Committee and offered the present watch as a gift to their ray of hope in a time of uncertainty.