Golf Hall of Fame opens "Bob Hope: A World of Laughter" in London July 18, 2012
Bob Hope was known to say, "London was the scene of my greatest performance, I was born here."
Today, Hope returned home with the help of his daughter, Linda Hope, the Bob & Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation and the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum. They opened the traveling exhibition about the world-famous entertainer and golf fan with a special ceremony at the Greenwich Heritage Centre in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in South London, England.
It's a fitting location, as Leslie Townes (Bob) Hope was born just down the road in Eltham on May 29, 1903.
The exhibit has been touring under the title "Bob Hope: An American Treasure" for previous stops at the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich., but will assume the name "Bob Hope: A World of Laughter" for its UK engagement. The exhibition will be open at London's Greenwich Heritage Centre in time for the 2012 Olympic Games and concludes Oct. 28, 2012.
"Thanks to the creativity and hard work of our friends at the World Golf Hall of Fame, visitors from all over the world, and those wanting an alternative to the Olympics, will have a wonderful opportunity to have some fun as they learn more about an amazing man who brought laughter to people around the world, especially to those serving their countries during times of war," said Linda Hope.
The exhibition, which is free to the public, will feature more than 170 artifacts, vintage imagery and nearly 90 minutes of video from Hope's life. It includes the KBE and CBE conferred on Hope by The Queen, and photos and artifacts from the Bob Hope British Classic, an event played on the European Tour in the 1980s and won by World Golf Hall of Fame member Bernhard Langer in 1981.
The exhibition charts Hope's early years as a child of an English family in America and his rise to become one the world's most loved, dynamic and enduring personalities. Hope was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1983, but he was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Olympic Games. Several new items at the London stop show Hope's involvement, including unique memorabilia from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the Seoul Games in 1988.
"On behalf of our Board of Directors and the Members of the World Golf Hall of Fame, we are extremely grateful to Linda Hope and the Bob & Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation for making this exhibition a reality," said Jack Peter, World Golf Hall of Fame Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "The Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Greenwich Heritage Centre have been tremendous partners and we are thrilled to be able to share Bob's legacy in such a beautiful and historic venue."
Councillor Chris Roberts, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: "We're really proud of Bob Hope's connection to the Royal Borough of Greenwich and to Eltham, the place of his birth. The 'Bob Hope: A World of Laughter' exhibition at the Heritage Centre is a great opportunity for local people and visitors to Royal Greenwich to enjoy his enduring legacy. His influence lives on as one of the true giants of the entertainment world and particularly for us here at the place of his birth at the theatre in Eltham, which he saved and bears his name."