HISTORY OF HOBY

From 1958 to 1967,

leadership seminars only took place in Los Angeles for sophomores from California. The success of the program over the first 10 years resulted in the expansion of the scope of the HOBY program. In 1968, seminars included international as well as national participants, and the leadership seminars moved to major cities across the United States on an annual basis. In 1972, in keeping with the changing times of the growing women’s movement, young women were invited to attend HOBY seminars. In 1977 Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island are the first to hold State Leadership seminars. In 1986 the HOBY Alumni Association initiated Community Leadership Workshops, one-day local leadership training workshops. By 1988 10,676 high school sophomores, representing 51 percent of U.S. high schools, participated in State Leadership Seminars; HOBY volunteers numbered 2,500.

In 1990, the International Leadership Seminar was renamed the World Leadership Congress, and 28 countries sent students representatives for an eight-day global leadership summit. By 1998, HOBY celebrated its 40th Anniversary and launched a new intuitive, Leadership for Service, challenging all HOBY ambassadors to commit to 100 hours of community service. Twenty pilot sites are given the community service challenge resulting in 345 ambassadors accomplishing more than 24,000 volunteer hours in 850 community service projects. Hugh’s belief in the potential of every human being and his commitment to helping the youth of the world become major contributors to society is his legacy. Today more than 470,000 HOBY alumni are better people, making a difference in the lives of others, thanks to the vision and passion of Hugh O’Brian.

ABOUT HUGH

HUGH O’BRIAN WAS

born Hugh Charles Krampe on April 19, 1925, in Rochester, New York, to United States Marine Corps officer Hugh John Krampe and his wife, Edith. Growing up, O'Brian attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and Kemper Military School in Booneville, Missouri, where he was a multi-sport star in football, basketball, wrestling, and track.

After graduating high school, O'Brian enrolled at the University of Cincinnati to pursue a career in law. After only one semester, at the age of 17, he left the University and enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II, where he then became the youngest drill instructor in the Corps' history.

Hugh O'Brian's acting career began inadvertently in 1947 while attending a performance of Somerset Maugham's play "Home and Beauty." The leading actor fell ill and O'Brian agreed to take his place on stage. Inspired by great reviews, he decided to pursue a career on stage, which led to his first contract with Universal Studios.

After three years, O'Brian left Universal to guest star in numerous television shows and films such as "Broken Lance" and "There's No Business Like Show Business." His breakthrough came in 1955 when he was chosen to portray lawman Wyatt Earp in "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp." O'Brian's charisma and talent brought the oversized-pistol toting lawman to life and launched the show to seven consecutive appearances in the nation's top ten most watched television list.

O'Brian continued to appear in countless on-screen and Broadway projects. On television, he made guest appearances in series such as "Fantasy Island," "The Love Boat," and "Charlie's Angels." On Broadway, he starred in "Destry Rides Again," "First Love," and "The Odd Couple." O'Brian's major film career lasted for decades, including his 1976 appearance in "The Shootist," which was John Wayne's final film, the 1988 appearance in "Twins" costarring alongside Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger and his 1994 cameo appearance in "Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone."

At the peak of his acting career, O'Brian journeyed to Africa to spend nine days with Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Dr. Schweitzer instilled in him a simple belief: "the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves." Before O'Brian left Africa, Dr. Schweitzer grabbed his hand and asked him, "What are you going to do with all of this?"

O'Brian returned to the United States resolved to put Dr. Schweitzer's words into action, and he founded Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) in 1958. He imagined a non-profit organization rooted with the mission to inspire a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation.

On June 25, 2006, at the age of 81, O'Brian married long-time partner, Virginia Stumpf (Barber). O'Brian is survived by his loving wife, Virginia O'Brian, his brother Don Krampe and Don's wife Jean, his sister-in-law Wendy Stumpf Hughes, and seven nieces and nephews as well as an incredible legacy of a life of service, and an organization that will continue his lifelong dream of helping youth reach their potential as leaders.


“I do NOT believe we are all born equal — CREATED equal in the eyes of God, YES — but physical and emotional differences, parental guidance, varying environments, being in the right place at the right time, all play a role in enhancing or limiting an individual's development. But I DO believe every man and woman, if given the opportunity and encouragement to recognize his or her own potential, regardless of background, has the Freedom To Choose in our world. Will an individual be a taker or a giver in life? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist, or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream?”

~ Hugh O'Brian | April 19, 1925 ~ September 5, 2016

HUGH & ALBERT SCHWEITZER

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IN 1958, MR. O’BRIAN...

was privileged to spend nine inspirational days with the great humanitarian and 1952 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer at his clinic in Africa. Dr. Schweitzer’s strong belief that “the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves” impressed O’Brian. Upon his return to the United States, he put Schweitzer’s words into action by forming Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), a non-profit organization.

Its format for motivation was simple: bring a select group of high school sophomores with demonstrated leadership abilities together with a group of distinguished leaders in business, education, government, and the professions, and let the two interact. Using a question-and-answer format, the young people selected to attend a HOBY Leadership Seminar held each spring in their state get a realistic look at what it takes to be a true leader, thus better enabling them “to think for themselves.”


“I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose: to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.”
~ Hugh O'Brian

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