"You never get tired unless you stop and take time for it." (Bob Hope)
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
Of all the show business icons in American history, one of the most beloved was Bob Hope, whose career spanned over six decades across film, television, vaudeville, comedy, and touring and earned him too many accolades to count. On the day of his 100th birthday, more than half of the states in America declared it "Bob Hope Day", a sign of just how monumental and influential he was as an entertainer. Along the way he performed so many United Service Organization (USO) tours, visiting troops, that Congress made him the "first and only honorary veteran of the US armed forces." Incredibly, he was given honorary awards for his career at the Academy Awards nearly 40 years before his death and decades before he actually retired from public life. By the time he reached his twilight, he was an instantly recognized institution unto himself.
All of that would have been impressive for any American, let alone someone who was actually born in England with the name Leslie Townes Hope. Indeed, the quintessential American entertainer wouldn't actually move to the country until he was four, and while his English roots may have helped his impressive impersonation of Charlie Chaplin when Hope was merely a teen, he quickly became an American through and through.
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