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Leslie Townes Hope Also Known as 'Packy East.' Sound Familiar?

Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope, the son of stonemason William Henry Hope and Avis Townes Hope. The family emigrated from England to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1908, when Leslie, the fifth of seven children, was not yet 5 years old. In Cleveland, the family struggled financially, as they had in England, and Avis took in boarders to supplement William's erratic income. Avis, an amateur musician, taught singing to Leslie, an outgoing boy who entertained his family with singing, impersonations and dancing.

Formal Bob Hope perusing the Library's stacks.

After dropping out of school at the age of 16, Leslie worked at a number of part-time jobs. He boxed for a short time under the name "Packy East" but changed his name officially to Lester Hope. Lester's interest in entertainment and show business, cultivated by his mother, led him to take dancing lessons and seek employment as a variety stage entertainer. Not until he had achieved considerable success on the stage did he begin using the name "Bob Hope."

Waltz through Bob Hope's amazing career in vaudeville, movies, television, USO shows and public service in the Online Exhibition "Bob Hope and American Variety,"

A. Credit: Courtesy of Annie Leibovitz.