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Bob Hope Golf Memorabilia to be Auctioned

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 Bob and Dolores Hope Golfing Picmonkey

In 1933 Bob Hope walked into the Vogue Club in New York City and a young beauty by the name of Dolores Reade was on stage, singing. “It was love at first song,” he said. Soon after, they had their first date and discovered a mutual passion that helped clinch the deal. Golf. In a lovely restaurant with a pristine white table cloth as their drawing board, they scribbled drawings and diagrams of holes they had played and where their shots landed. Little did they know that that evening would be the beginning of almost 70 years together and that golf would be a source of endless conversations, instructions, despair and laughter. Later in life, Bob and Dolores Hope attributed their mutual love of the game as one of the ingredients of contributing to the success of their marriage.

Hope never left home without his clubs. From the deserts of Iraq to the jungles of Vietnam to the steel decks of ocean going battleships, he stood on stages, club in hand, and brought laughter and a touch of home to American troops abroad. He played golf whenever and wherever he could, even driving balls off the USS Iowa toward cheering sailors aboard a nearby ship. On the home front, the Hopes built their Toluca Lake estate virtually next door to Lakeside Country Club where they became lifetime members.

But it was the siren call of golf in Palm Springs that led to the most important professional and philanthropic collaboration of their marriage; the symbiotic relationship between the Bob Hope Desert Classic and the establishment of the Eisenhower Medical Center. In 1965 Hope became the “driving” force behind the Desert Classic and Dolores Hope became the primary mover and shaker behind the founding of the Eisenhower Medical Center, named after their good friend, Dwight D. Eisenhower. As ground was being broken for the Center, the Classic was quickly becoming one of the most successful pro-am tournaments in the country. Over the next 47 years the Classic raised millions and millions of dollars for the Eisenhower Medical Center, as well as many other desert charities. Dolores Hope was EMC President for seven straight years, then chairperson and for the rest of her life remained involved in key leadership capacities and dedicated to its cause. She once said, “I played a lot of golf before I became involved with the Center, Yes, my game has suffered, but my life has been greatly enriched.”

Gerald Fold, 38th President of the United States, said, “Bob Hope has contributed immeasurably to the good things golf can provide.” Ford and Hope were very close friends and shared a passion for the game. However, Ford was infamous for beaning folks in the galleries and this, of course, made him one of Hope's most favorite subjects. “There are over 50 golf courses in Palm Springs and Jerry never knows which one he's playing until after he tees off,” Hope once joked to great laughs. But he was a friend of many presidents and played golf with several of them regularly. President Richard Nixon once famously landed in the presidential helicopter on the grounds of the Hope estate and whisked him off to play a round with Jimmy Stewart and Fred McMurray at nearby Lakeside. At the White House, Hope once demonstrated is putting acumen by knocking the ball into an ashtray held by Nixon. George H. Bush joined Hope for on the Desert Classics, as did Bill Clinton. Clinton and Hope enjoyed many laughs together, and Bob loved his spirit and wonderful sense of humor. After Hope's death President Clinton took on the hosting duties at the newly named Humana Challenge, formerly the Bob Hope Desert Classic.

Golf was at the center of Bob and Dolores Hope's long lives. It gave them great joy, great friends and the opportunity to do very, very good work. Julien's Auctions of Beverly Hills has announced the auction of property from the collection of Bob and Dolores Hope will take place on Friday, September 20th and Saturday, September at Julien's Auctions' Beverly Hills gallery. The auction will include the golf memorabilia and memories from the Hope homes, as well as an array of treasures including paintings, Desert Classic items, golf clubs, awards and statues, signed Bob Hope Chrysler Classic photographs and Bob Hope's E-Z golf cart. Other Hope memorabilia includes signed Presidential books and photographs, award plaques, trophies, figurines and novelty items from political luminaries and celebrities. For more information see www.juliensauctions.com.

Bob and Dolores Hope wanted their golf treasures to go to auction so that fans and friends might be able to remember them and enjoy a piece of history. All benefits from the sale of property from the collection of Bob and Dolores Hope will go to the Bob and Dolores Charitable Foundation to support America's veterans and to help feed the poor.

Editor's note: Information for this report was supplied by TASTE News Service sources.

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