-- Bob Newhart

George Robert Newhart was born on September 5, 1929 in Oak Park, one of four children of of George David Newhart and Julia Pauline Burns. The family moved to neighboring Austin when he was young, though he attended St. Catherine of Siena Grade School on Austin Boulevardin Oak Park.

Newhart was drafted into the Army and served during the Korean war from 1952-54. He returned afterwords to Austin, living there while his carreer as a stand-up comic developed. Newhart moved to Los Angeles in 1961 at the start of his television career The Oak Park connection persisted none-the-less, as he maintained an apartment at 1020 Randolph Street in Oak Park.

Virginia Quinn and Bob Newhart were married in 1963. (See a photo of their family today.)

Our most well-known celebrity is a mega-star of Television, has appeared in many Movies, his Comedy is familiar to all, and his first Comedy Album ranks 20th in Billboard Magazine's all time Hall-of-Fame. Entertainment Weekly listed Bob Newhart among the "Top 11 Funniest People Alive."

Follow Newhart's career as it progresses from Oak Park to Hollywood -- starting with the School Days below.

It is remarkable to note the number of outstanding individuals who similarly started out from Oak Park. Our community has produced some of the most celebrated citizens in American Arts and Culture, including the writers Ernest Hemingway and Carol Shields, the psychoanalyst (and model for Dr. Robert Hartley) Carl Rogers, the founder of Modern Dance, Doris Humphrey and the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

CREDITS: Our thanks to Bob Newhart and Rob Newhart for the Oak Park biographical information. Other information and quotes are derived from the official Bob Newhart Homepage and other web sites dedicated to Newhart and his career.


First, "Why Bob"?
I'm George to people I was in the service with. And I'm legally still George, but I've been called Bob since high school. My friends call me Bob. There was a saying, "Let George do it." I figured I was going to be asked to do a lot of things I wouldn't want to do, so I thought, "Maybe I'll be a Bob." -- "Bobs" are an elite group anyway.

Newhart attended St. Ignatius College Prep, one of the premier High Schools in Chicago, affiliated with the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). St. Ignatius is located on Roosevelt Road in the "Little Italy" area of Chicago, and next to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where St. Ignatius students have access to its superior library facilities and undergraduate course offerings. We quote the St. Ignatius dedication: "The 450-year tradition of Jesuit education is characterized by the pursuit of academic excellence, the nurturance of spiritual and personal values, and the determination withstanding challenge. "

Newhart is an alumnus of Loyola University of Chicago, graduating in 1952 with a Business Degree in Management. Newhart "credits the Jesuits with the somewhat distorted way I have of looking at life. You could say I feel somewhat indebted to them." And Loyola is appreciative of Bob, bestowing on him Honors and Appreciation, and the prestigious Sword of Loyola Award, honoring an individual or individuals who have made outstanding service contributions outside the field of medicine.

After Army service, Bob worked as an accountant and an advertising copywriter, and performed in a theatrical stock company in Chicago.

But why an accountant?:
"The truth is, I look like an accountant, which was my trouble. I looked the part of an accountant, so I'd get hired as an accountant even though I got my degree in management. I was not what you'd call an efficient accountant. I'd always end up in the debits or credits by $3.76 or something which I'd make up out of my pocket."
Newhart supplemented his income as an accountant by writing and performing comedy sketches on the radio.

Bob and a friend, Ed Gallagher, would amuse themselves by making long, antic phone calls to each other, which they recorded as audition tapes for comedy jobs. And then, in 1959, a Chicago disk jockey introduced Bob to the head of talent at Warner Brothers Records, George Avakian, who immediately signed him to a contract...
Menu Bar Hometown Comedy of Bob Newhart Bob Newhart on Television Bob Newhart in the Movies Bob Newhart on the Web

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