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Q&A: Bob Hope left most of his estate to wife, Dolores

Bob Hope left lion's share to wife

At one time, the late comedian Bob Hope was thought to own the largest acreage of raw land in the state of California (estimated value: $300 million). Since he did not have any natural children, who inherited his land?

Comedian Bob Hope, who died July 27, 2003, at age 100, left most of his estate to his second wife, Dolores.

In a will signed Nov. 28, 1995, Hope stipulated that his wife would inherit his interests in all their houses, all their personal, domestic and household articles, all their art, cars and airplanes, all his memorabilia and jokes, all his copyrights and residuals and all his stock and interest in Hope Enterprises Inc.

He then wrote that all the rest was bequeathed to the trustees of the Bob and Dolores Hope Living Trust. What "all the rest" was is unknown because the trust details have never been made public.

On Dec. 18, 1997, Hope filed a codicil to his will that set aside $50 million for a museum. He did not specify what he wanted the museum to be about, and his publicist said it could be devoted to Hope himself, comedy or broadcasting.

You can see the 10-page will and the three-page codicil at www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/bob-hopes-50-million-bequest.

Hope was widely thought to be one of the biggest landowners in California, at one time owning 10,000 acres in the San Fernando Valley, 8,000 acres in Palm Springs, up to 5,000 acres near Phoenix and 7,500 acres in Malibu.

At the time of his death, estimates about the size of his estate ranged from about $400 million to as much as $1 billion.

Hope married singer Dolores Reade in 1934, and the couple adopted four children from an adoption agency in Evanston, Ill., called the Cradle. One of those children, Anthony Reade Hope, died in 2004 at the age of 63.

Dolores Hope is now 101. Her birthday is May 27.

Japan debris disposal uncertain

What happens to all that debris generated by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan?

The Wall Street Journal cited Nagahisa Hirayama, an associate professor at Kyoto University, as saying that Japan does not have guidelines on how to deal with waste management related to tsunami disasters. The country also doesn't have an agency like the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the United States.

Hirayama estimates the garbage will total about 26.7 million tons in five prefectures impacted by the tsunami. "Typically Japan uses incinerators and landfills . . . but the environment ministry has yet to release a plan," according to the report.

Q&A: Bob Hope left most of his estate to wife, Dolores 04/21/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011 9:56am]

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