Bob Hope was an early participant in the early LA land rush. Hope took the profits from his early movies and bought huge tracts of undeveloped land in LA and Ventura counties, and sat on it until it was ripe for development. This wasn't unusual for the time, for example, Edgar Rice Burroughs bought up a huge chunk of land that became the LA suburb Tarzana. But Hope's commercial activities were particularly rapacious. Hope owned huge tracts of land in the Ventura Mountains, the last undeveloped natural forests in the LA area, some of the most valuable properties in the state. He spent decades fighting to develop this pristine, unspoiled land into luxury housing. The LA Nature Conservancy fought Hope in the courts for years, finally winning a partial victory, La Mancha sold LANC some of the land for use as nature preserves, and LANC dropped their suits and La Mancha got the go-ahead to cut down the forests, carve roads into the wilderness, and develop expensive luxury housing. What a deal! Bob Hope reminds me of Armand Hammer, who swore his company Oxy Petroleum would drill for oil in Santa Monica Bay before he died. Hammer failed, but Hope succeeded.
Strangely enough, I once worked for Bob Hope, for about an hour. I used to work at a service bureau as an Iris inkjet operator, and a job from Bob Hope came in. It was a CD cover for a birthday present Hope had personally made for his wife Dolores. This was back in the days when CD recorders cost thousands of bucks, and mastering a CD was done by professionals at high prices. Hope spent thousands of dollars producing a one-off CD for his wife's birthday, complete with my custom $75 Iris print for the cover art. The artwork was a picture of Dolores, it showed signs of an expensive retouch job, and it surely cost hundreds of bucks to remove her moustache and smooth out all the wrinkles. The vanity of Hollywood people never ceases to amaze me.
There is so much to hate about Bob Hope, I can hardly collect all the reasons. But I found one exceptionally interesting fact, courtesy of the Internet Movie Database, Hope's longterm golf buddy was Prescott Bush, the notorious Nazi supporter and progenitor of presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Hope was a right-wing extremist, just like Prescott Bush.
Now that Bob Hope is dead, TV viewers will be subjected to endless reruns of his horrid old movies. A whole new generation will become acquainted with his work, and their reaction will undoubtedly be, "people actually laughed at this crap?"