When the time for recognition of service to the nation in wartime comes to be considered, Bob Hope should be high on the list. This man drives himself and is driven. It is impossible to see how he can do so much, can cover so much ground, can work so hard and be so effective. He works month after month at a pace that would kill most people.
—John Steinbeck, 1943
On his last morning in office, President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908–1973) awarded Presidential Medals of Freedom to twenty individuals, including Bob Hope. Bob Hope’s citation noted that, “With his gifts of joy to all the American people, he has written his name large in the history of our times.”