- Dolores Hope
Dolores Hope Born Dolores L. DeFina
May 27, 1909
New York, New York, U.S.
Died September 19, 2011(aged 102)
Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Natural causes Occupation Singer, philanthropist Years active 1929–2011 Spouse Bob Hope
(m. 1934–2003, his death)
Children Eleanora Avis (aka Nora)
Linda Roberta Theresa (d. 2005)
William Kelly Francis (aka Kelly)
Anthony J. (1940-2004)
Early life and career
She was born Dolores L. DeFina in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood of Italian and Irish descent and raised in The Bronx. After the death of her bartender father, Jack DeFina, in 1925, she and her younger sister, Mildred, were raised in the Bronx by their mother, Theresa DeFina (1890–1977), who worked as a saleslady in a drygoods store.  
During the 1930s, after working as a model, DeFina began her professional singing career under the name Dolores Reade on the advice of her agent. In 1933, after appearing at the Vogue Club, a Manhattan nightclub, Reade was introduced to Bob Hope. The couple reportedly were married on February 19, 1934 in Erie, Pennsylvania. They later adopted four children from The Cradle in Evanston, Illinois: Eleanora, Linda (d. 2005), Kelly, and Anthony (d. 2004). "She was a woman of her words and a fine singer. Bob and Dolores were the talk of many people back in those holy days," says a friend, Malory Thorn.
In the 1940s, Dolores began helping her husband on his tours entertaining U.S. troops overseas and she would continue to do so for over 50 years. In 1990, she was the only female entertainer allowed to perform in Saudi Arabia.
At age 83, she recorded her first compact disc, Dolores Hope: Now and Then. She followed this with three additional albums and also recorded a Christmas CD with Bob entitled Hopes for the Holidays.
On May 29, 2003, Dolores was at her husband's side as he celebrated his 100th birthday; he died two months later on July 27, 2003. The following year, Bob and Dolores' elder son, Anthony Hope, died at the age of 63. He was father to two of the Hope grandchildren, Miranda of Washington and Zachary of Santa Monica.
On May 27, 2009, Dolores Hope became a centenarian; her birthday was featured on The Today Show, with her younger son saying in an ABC interview, "I think of her as love." On May 29, 2010, she was quoted as saying to local press, of her 101st birthday, "I'm still recovering from my 100th birthday bash, so I'm going to keep this year’s celebration much quieter.” On May 27, 2011, she celebrated her 102nd birthday at her California residence.
Dolores Hope was an Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian organization Wings of Hope.
Illness and death
On October 21, 2008, she was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California after suffering a suspected stroke. Her publicist released a statement indicating that she spent less than four hours at the hospital where she underwent routine testing.
Hope died of natural causes at her home in Toluca Lake, California on September 19, 2011. She was 102 years old.
Dolores Hope received numerous honors during her lifetime.
- Dame of St. Gregory with Star (one of a very select few women named Dame of St. Gregory with Star)
- The President's Medal from Loyola College in Baltimore.
- The Outstanding Catholic Laywoman Award from St. Louis University
- The Elizabeth Seton Medal Award from Seton Hill University
- Terence Cardinal Cooke Humanitarian Award from Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center
- Patronal Medal from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic University of America
- Hollywood Walk of Fame star for her contributions to live theatre
- A street named after her in The Bronx (her hometown)
- A permanent installation of the Tree Peony Collection bearing her name
- Chancellor Medal from the University of California, Riverside
- Winnie Palmer Humanitarian Award (from the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association)
- ^ a b "Anthony J. Hope, 63, Head Of Panel and Bob Hope's Son" The New York Times. July 2, 2004.
- ^ a b Gates, Anita (2011-09-19). "Dolores Hope, Bob Hope’s Widow, Dies at 102". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/arts/music/dolores-hope-bob-hopes-widow-dies-at-102.html?_r=1&hp. Retrieved 2011-9-19.
- ^ Mother's profession and sister's name from 1930 U. S. Federal Census, accessed on ancestry.com on 20 September 2011
- ^ Occupation as model cited in 1930 U. S. Federal Census, accessed on ancestry.com on 20 September 2011
- ^ Reportedly best, since no published source agrees the exact day or has uncovered a marriage certificate. What is known is that he married his vaudeville partner Grace Louise Troxell in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1933, but no divorce papers have been located either.
- ^ "Nick Perito Obituary". Variety. 16 August 2005. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117927630. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- ^ Thomas, Bob (8 June 1997). "Dolores Hope renews singing career with 3rd album". Lawrence Journal-World. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=F7oyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_-cFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6474,3841408&dq=nick+perito&hl=en. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
- ^ DiCostanzo, Frank (15 November 1997). Drive Shifts To High Gear To Reach Military, Over-50 Crowd With Dolores Hope Album. Billboard. http://books.google.com/books?id=6QkEAAAAMBAJ&pg=RA1-PA56&dq=nick+perito&hl=en&ei=EOqjTYfXBJCP0QGU2dXyCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEYQ6AEwBzg8#v=onepage&q=nick%20perito&f=false. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
- ^ "Bob Hope dead at 100" July 29, 2003, CNN
- ^ "Dolores Hope Celebrates Her 100th" KABC Los Angeles. May 28, 2009.
- ^ Report on Dolores Hope's health scare in 2008
- ^ Dolores Hope Passes Away
- Dolores Hope at the Internet Movie Database
- Dolores Hope Biography
- "Dolores DeFina Hope". Singer/Philanthropist/Humanitarian. Find a Grave. Dec 06, 2005. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=12616083. Retrieved Aug 18, 2011. (future gravesite next to Bob Hope at Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana Cemetery)
- Dolores Hope at Find a Grave
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