Friday, December 12, 2003
Burbank, Calif. On the 100th anniversary next Wednesday of the Wright Brothers' first flight, Burbank Airport will be renamed Bob Hope Airport for the late comedian, centenarian and frequent flier.
"There was some symmetry between Bob Hope's life corresponding almost exactly to the beginning of flight," said Victor J. Gill, airport spokesman. Hope was born about seven months before Orville Wright achieved the first powered, controlled flight on Dec. 17, 1903.
The renaming plan won the approval of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority and the governing councils of the three cities.
Michael Hastings, a spokesman for the Hope family, said family members were humbled by the gesture. They reacted with "a dead silence out of just pure humility and pride," he said.
Local officials, community representatives and members of the Hope family are expected to attend the 10 a.m. naming ceremony Wednesday.
Hope grew up as flight technology evolved and he made good use of it for more than 50 years, flying all over the world entertaining U.S. troops.
The renaming ceremony will be the last in a series of events sponsored by the airport to celebrate the centennial of flight. Hope, who lived in Burbank-adjacent Toluca Lake and kept a private jet at Burbank Airport, died July 27.