Bob Hope entertaining the troops in 1944. Source: Wikipedia
Multiple sources indicate that Bob Hope headlined 57 USO tours, including Wikipedia and Legacy's article on Bob Hope's USO, among others. I believe this is the record. However, I have been unable to verify this. Is there any documentation indicating anyone else having completed more than 57 USO tours, or can a source be found which indicates Bob Hope's 57 tours is the record?
Additional sources I have consulted:
- Wikipedia's USO article;
- USO.org - Bob Hope USO Shows: The One-Man Morale Machine;
- Biography.com - Bob Hope;
- CBS News - A Tribute to Bob Hope: USO Tour;
- Bob Hope USO - About Us;
- Library of Congress - Entertaining the Troops;
- Library of Congress - Bob Hope Exhibits;
- USA Patriotism - Bob Hope;
- The Daily Beast - which lists "nearly 200 USO performances” by Bob Hope, and I suspect this would also be a record, though I cannot confirm this either.
I modified the title to indicate "headlined" - but originally I was looking for some unsung hero who may have toured (headlined or not) more than 57 times. Some B-lister or C-lister. I suspect 57 would be the record for headlining though even that has been extremely hard to verify (no sources found yet).
I love this quote from Bob Hope in 1944 (as found on this Library of Congress exhibit):
Believe me when I say that laughter up at the front lines is a very precious thing—precious to those grand guys who are giving and taking the awful business that goes on there. . . . There’s a lump the size of Grant’s Tomb in your throat when they come up to you and shake your hand and mumble “Thanks.” Imagine those guys thanking me! Look what they’re doin’ for me. And for you. —Bob Hope, 1944
P.S. Bob - Thanks for the memories!