JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 2022BOB "CENTURION" HOPE DIED 13 YEARS AGO
Toluca Lake, California (JFK+50) Thirteen years ago today, July 27, 2003, Bob Hope*, the man who entertained thousands of American soldiers in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, died here at Toluca Lake at the age of 100.
Hope appeared in more than 50 feature films, hosted the Academy Awards eighteen times and was the host of 284 television specials.
President John F. Kennedy presented Bob Hope with the Congressional Gold Medal on September 11, 1963 in a ceremony held in the White House Rose Garden. The medal was presented in honor of Hope's many years of service entertaining US troops overseas.
JFK praised Bob Hope for "going so many places to entertain the sons, daughters, brothers and sisters of Americans who were very far from home."
Mr. Hope did not abandon his comedy for this serious occasion. Hope said that he entertained in the South Pacific when JFK was serving there. Bob quipped...
"(JFK) was a carefree young man in those days, of course all he had to worry about then was the enemy."
Hope, who sometimes is the target of jokes about his distinctive nose, also said that he had asked for a "nose job" for the medal but was told that would mean "less gold".
*Leslie Townes 'Bob' Hope (1903-2003) was born in London but grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He entertained in 57 USO Tours from 1941 to 1951 & was made an honorary veteran of the US Armed Forces. Bob shares the same birthday as JFK, May 29th.