PR Veteran Ward Jay Grant Passes
Longtime Bob Hope Colleague
Ward Jay Grant with Bob Hope
Burbank, CA - Ward Grant, who served as director of media and public relations for Bob Hope and Hope Enterprises, Inc., for the past 33 years died at his home in Burbank, California, on January 11, 2007. Grant, who had been battling congestive heart failure, was 75
A dear friend of the Hope family as well as a professional colleague, Grant was responsible for Bob Hope’s full schedule of national and international personal appearances, as well as his television specials and books. He was a fixture at Hope’s side as he did between 150 and 250 public appearances a year.
“Ward was our go-to man,” said Hope’s daughter Linda. “He was the most conscientious, warm person and always filled with good humor and good will — a great asset to my dad and the Hope family.”
Prior to working for Hope, Ward was an independent publicist and consultant whose clients included Dorothy Lamour, Fess Parker, Eva Gabor, Phyllis Diller and Ned Beatty. He was also a business manager and in-house publicist for Anheuser-Busch and Busch Gardens, of Van Nuys, California.
In addition, he counseled the Diabetes Association of Southern California and for a quarter-century served as a producer and writer for award shows and special events for Childhelp, the nation’s largest organization for the care and treatment of abused children.
Grant was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He served in the U.S. Navy, attended the University of Southern California, Montana University and graduated from the University of Colorado.
While working with Hope, Grant spent six years as a senior lecturer of public relations at USC. Ward was co-writer of the best selling Bob Hope’s Dear Prez, I Wanna Tell Ya!: A Presidential Jokebook and compiled and edited I Was There by Bob Hope. Most recently, Ward worked on extending the legacy of Bob Hope with the naming of the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California.
Ward is survived by his three children, Tracy Grant-Rubin, Scott Grant and David Grant (by former wife Beverley Emmons), four grandsons and lifetime companion, Bill Faith.
Memorial services, to be announced, will be held at St. James Episcopal Church on Wilshire Blvd., with a second service to follow at St. Barabas in Eagle Rock also to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations to Childhelp (15757 N. 78th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85260) are being requested.