Richard Zoglin: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Richard Zoglin

Former Time Writer and Editor, and Author of Hope: Entertainer of the Century and Comedy at the Edge

Richard Zoglin is the author of Hope: Entertainer of the Century, the first definitive biography of Bob Hope. In his exhaustively researched and critically acclaimed book, Zoglin makes the persuasive case that Hope was the most important entertainer of the 20th century. He was the only show-business figure to achieve top-rated success in every major mass-entertainment medium of the century — vaudeville, Broadway, movies, radio, television and live concerts. He virtually invented stand-up comedy in the form we know it today. His tours to entertain U.S. troops and patriotic radio broadcasts, along with his all-American, brash-but-cowardly movie character, helped to ease the nation's jitters during the stressful days of World War II. What's more, he helped redefine the very notion of what it means to be a star in the modern era: a savvy businessman, a pioneer of the brand extension (churning out books, writing a newspaper column, hosting a golf tournament) and a public-spirited entertainer whose Christmas military tours and tireless work for charity set the standard for public service in Hollywood.

The book doesn't ignore the dark side of Hope's character — the ego, the coldness, the indiscriminate womanizing — and it gives a full and sometimes painful account of the traumatic Vietnam years, when Hope's vocal support of the war made him a polarizing figure and alienated much of a generation. Hope is a fascinating, complex portrait of a gifted but flawed man who, unlike many Hollywood stars, truly loved being famous, appreciated its responsibilities, and handled celebrity with extraordinary grace.

Richard Zoglin has spent more than 30 years as a writer and editor for Time. As the magazine's television critic for more than a decade, he wrote cover stories on David Letterman, Bill Cosby, Diane Sawyer, Arsenio Hall, and Star Trek, among many others. He is currently a contributor editor and Time's theater critic. His first book, Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America, is considered the definitive history of that seminal era in stand-up comedy.

Zoglin is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a master's degree in journalism. He began his career as a copy editor for Saturday Review magazine and wrote for such publications as the New York Times, The Village Voice, and The New Republic before moving to Atlanta in 1978 to become television critic for the Atlanta Constitution. After four years there he left to help launch Time Inc.'s new television magazine TV-Cable Week, before joining Time as a staff writer in 1983. He lives in New York City and for 19 years was married to bestselling author Charla Krupp (How Not to Look Old: How to Never Look Fat Again), who died of breast cancer in 2012.

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  • Bob Hope: Entertainer of the Century
  • America on the Links: How Bob Hope Popularized Golf

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