Wednesday, Oct 20, 2010
On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, the Hope family including Bob Hope's daughter Linda Hope, his son Kelly Hope, and three grandchildren, along with celebrities Dick Cavett, Yogi Berri and Robert Osborne, gathered for the formal dedication of the newly refurbished Bob Hope Memorial Library, located on the third floor of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The existing Ellis Island Research Library was re-designated the Bob Hope Memorial Library with the passage of H.R. 759 by Congress in 2008.
“Ellis Island is an historic national treasure, so how fitting it is that we celebrate the life of another national treasure; Mr. Bob Hope,” said David Luchsinger, superintendent of Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. “We thank the Hope Family and the Hope Foundation for sharing this remarkable man's life and legacy with us and the world.”
Bob Hope is one of America's most celebrated immigrants. The fifth of seven sons, he was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, England on May 29, 1903. In 1907, his mother brought her five sons through Ellis Island to join their father who had come over earlier to make a home for them in Ohio. In 1920, by virtue of his father's naturalization, “Bob” -- the name by which the world would later know him -- and his brothers became United States citizens.
As part of its refurbishment, the Bob Hope Memorial Library now showcases exhibits of Bob Hope's career in the entertainment business as well as memorabilia pertaining to his USO tours and golfing endeavors. It also has a changing display area that will tell the stories of other famous immigrants who came through Ellis Island.
The heart of the library remains the reading room, which contains books, periodicals, contemporary and historical photographs, film and video productions, unpublished manuscripts, archival collections, oral history interviews and other research materials relating to the history of immigration and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, immigration history.
“This honor would have meant the world to my dad,” said Linda Hope. “He was, of course, very proud of his English/Welsh roots but he loved his adopted country with a passion. He loved the spirit of its people and he used to marvel at all the opportunities he had as an American. He lived the American dream and spent much of his adult life giving back to the men and women who made the freedom he enjoyed possible, the United States Military.”