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 Danny Thomas

Danny Thomas

Original Name Amos Jacobs
Birth
Deerfield, Lenawee County, Michigan, USA
Death 6 Feb 1991 (aged 79)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA
Plot Danny and Rose Marie Thomas Memorial Garden
Memorial ID 2419 · View Source
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Actor, Singer, Producer. His career began as a nightclub comedian with a brief fling in the movies. His greatest success was achieved in television starring in long run sitcom's then a producer responsible for such shows as...Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle and the Mod Squad. However, his show business career pales in comparison to his role as Humanitarian. As a young man, he embraced as his patron saint, St Jude Thaddeus, one attributed to lost or impossible causes and founded as a memorial, St Jude's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, using much of his own money while spearheading the fundraising for its construction. For good measure, Danny Thomas, founded ALSAC (American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities) an organization comprised of wealthy Arabs that raises funds for the maintenance and operating costs of the hospital allowing free treatment to needy children while finding cures for catastrophic children's diseases. He was born Muzyard Yaakoob (Amos Jacob) in Deerfield Michigan the fifth of 10 children born to Arab immigrants. The family moved to nearby Toledo, where he grew up considering the city his hometown. Schooled by Ursuline nuns at St. Francis de Sales parochial school then attended Woodward High School becoming a drop out in his junior year to pursue a show business career. Exposed to movies after taking a job selling snacks in the isles of the Empire Theater, St. Clair & Orange street, downtown Toledo, Amos became enamored as he watched during the course of his duties dreaming of a movie career. He began his career as a singer at a Detroit radio station while also performing as an MC-comedian in nightclubs. He first performed under his Anglicized birth name, Amos Jacobs, before settling on Danny Thomas, a derivative from first names of his two brothers. Danny debuted in 1946 with a brief film career with lead and supporting roles as a comic. He achieved success on television starring in the long running sitcom "Make Room for Daddy" then starring in a number of specials while making many guest appearances. Stepping behind the camera in late 1950's, he formed a partnership which produced many successful television shows. Danny worked for his St Jude Hospital project until the end of his life. While taking part in the hospital's 29th anniversary, he filmed a television commercial for the facility while signing fundraising copies of his autobiography in the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion. He pointed to the building's chapel uttering a wish to be buried there upon his demise. Returning to Los Angeles, he suffered, a massive heart attack, two days later, which claimed his life at age 79. His funeral was held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church located in Hollywood, attended by former Presidents Gerald Ford & Ronald Reagan and a huge crowd of Hollywood celebrities. A special message from President George Bush lauding the entertainer was read. His remains were transported to Memphis where he lay in state in the Pavilion, while families stood in line for hours, to pay tribute to this extraordinary compassionate man until he was interred on the grounds in a plot now known as the Danny and Rose Marie Memorial Garden. Legacy...He cornered the market in humanitarian awards receiving hundreds. Some of the most noteworthy...On April 16, 1984, President Ronald Reagan presented him with the Congressional Gold Medal for his work with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Pope Paul VI presented Danny the highest honor that could bestowed up a layman...Knight Commander with Star in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The American Medical Association bestowed The Layman Award, it's highest honor to a nonmedical personal. He was the father of actress Marlo Thomas and TV producer Tony Thomas. Received an Emmy Best Actor starring in a Regular Series "Make Room for Daddy" in 1954 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He authored an autobiography, "Make Room for Danny" in 1990. The Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion is the repository for thousands of artifacts from his life. Its presence allows the hospital to further raise funds for the facility by operating an extensive gift shop with an on-line "The Hope Catalog." Adjacent to the Pavilion is the, Danny and Rose Marie Thomas Memorial Garden which is not only the site of the burial crypt of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas and his wife Rose Marie but a functional park which furnishes a contemplative setting for hospital staff workers and visitors alike to enjoy a peaceful place for relaxation.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2419
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Danny Thomas (6 Jan 1912–6 Feb 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2419, citing Saint Jude Hospital Grounds, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .