Bob Hope fans say "thanks" for the memorabilia

Tue Sep 2, 2008 3:59pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - His theme song was "Thanks for the Memory," and now Bob Hope fans will get a chance to say their own "thanks" of a charitable kind in an auction of golf mementos and other memorabilia once owned by the comic legend.

Five years after his death at age 100, nearly everything in Hope's office in his Los Angeles home will be sold in an auction set for October 18-19 in Beverly Hills that is expected to gather between $200,000 and $400,000, organizers said.

Through the Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation, the sale will benefit U.S. veterans. Hope befriended many U.S. presidents throughout his life, and his wartime shows organized by the United Service Organizations cheered soldiers from World War II to the Gulf War in the 1990s.

Born in 1903, Hope and his family came to the United States from England when he was 4. He got his start in vaudeville and later became a major personality on radio and television.

As a comedian, his "road" movies with Bing Crosby thrilled audiences. Oscar-winning filmmaker Woody Allen credited the Hope and Crosby films with inspiring him to be a comedian.

"He and the country grew up (together)," his daughter Linda Hope told Reuters. "There was no electricity when dad was starting out his life, and the Wright brothers made their first flight in 1903."

Julien's Auctions is selling 188 items from Hope's office, and Linda Hope recently gave Reuters a tour ahead of the sale.

There are a total 680 items in the sale including memorabilia that had been in storage, said Darren Julien, founder of the firm handling the auction.   Continued...

<p>Entertainer Bob Hope, shown in this undated file photo, will be celebrating his 100th birthday on May 29, 2003. REUTERS/Files</p>