The name “Bob Hope” will forever be linked to our gorgeous Palm Springs Valley, if for no other reason than that there is a major road in Rancho Mirage named after him. But as a longtime resident of the desert and the namesake of the region’s PGA tour for 47 years (now called the Humana Challenge), Bob—along with his wife, Dolores—is fondly remembered for generous charity, legendary entertaining, a stable of world-famous friends, and a supreme love of golf.
All this said, it only made sense that the Palm Springs Air Museum should bring the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum’s traveling show “Bob Hope: An American Treasure” to its facility for the 2013 winter/spring season. Installed through April, the 2500-square-foot exhibit was sponsored by the Bob & Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation. Highlighting Hope’s amazing life, it displays more than 160 artifacts, including Hope’s Honorary Veterans Citation (for his many worldwide treks to entertain the troops), his Congressional Gold Metal, and his honorary Oscar statue. But what may delight people the most—especially kids—is the famous golf cart shaped like Hope’s face. Hundreds of photos and seven videos help tell the story of Hope and his immigrant family; his success on stage, radio, and screen; his devotion to supporting the military—and his mad obsession with golf, of course!
As for the famous house that Bob and Dolores built in the late ’70s, it’s now on the market for a cool $50 million! And what will that kind of dough get you? A one-of-a-kind, 22,000-square-foot, three-level curved-roof glass and steel home designed by master architect John Lautner with six bedrooms, 12 baths, lavish indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces, a tennis court, a voluminous pool, and spectacular views that go from Mount San Jacinto to the Salton Sea.
Bob Hope died in 2003 at the age of 100; Dolores in 2011 at 102! Although I never met them in person, the spirit and generosity of the Hopes live on in the communities of Greater Palm Springs.