“Unfortunately, a very small number of our young people seem to attract the most of the news. They are in the public eye because they have stolen cars, vandalized schools, created disturbances – in some way rebelled against society. These headline-makers represent only a small part of our teenage population. It is a fact that 98.7 percent of our young people are law-abiding, constructive citizens. There is too much focus on the negative. It is time we accent the positive – pat the good guys and gals on the back – let them know there are rewards for being responsible members of the community.

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 live? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist, or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream?

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  (Excerpt From The Freedom To Choose)

OUR FOUNDER HUGH O’BRIAN

Motion picture and television star Hugh O’Brian has mastered his craft across the entire spectrum of show business. But with all his success he has never lost sight of his civic and philanthropic responsibilities. O’Brian has chosen to use his popularity to motivate others for a worthy cause, and to reinvest his good fortune by working tirelessly to develop projects to benefit young people.

He is the founder of Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), organized in 1958. HOBY’s vision is to motivate and empower individuals to make a positive difference within our global society through understanding and action based on effective and compassionate leadership.

LIFE & LEGEND OF WYATT EARP

O’Brian left Universal after three years to guest star in numerous television shows and in such films as “Broken Lance” and “No Business Like Show Business.”  Though O’Brian has appeared in hundreds of television shows and movies, there is one role with which he is immediately identified: that of frontier lawman Wyatt Earp. O’Brian played the lead role in the “Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” on ABC television from 1955-61. Shortly after the series debuted in 1955 as the “first adult western,” it became the top-rated show on television, and O’Brian became a much-discussed talent. During its seven-year run, “Wyatt Earp” always placed in the top 10 television shows in the nation.

BROADWAY & MORE

In 1972-73, O’Brian starred in the action series, “Search.” He also starred on Broadway in “Destry Rides Again,” “First Love,” and in the Broadway revival of “Guys and Dolls.” O’Brian also played the starring role in the national company of “Cactus Flower” and appeared in “The Odd Couple,” “The Tender Trap,” “A Thousand Clowns,” and “Plaza Suite.” He has been a guest on numerous television and radio shows including the Today Show, the Larry King and Jim Bohanan Shows, Charlie Rose’s Nightwatch and The Pat Sajak Show. Other credits include “The Shootist,” “Killer Force,” “Game of Death,” “Twins,” and numerous appearances on “Fantasy Island,” “Love Boat,” the T.V. series “Paradise,” “Gunsmoke II,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “L.A. Law,” and a Kenny Rogers Gambler IV movie, “The Luck of the Draw: The Gambler Returns,” and “Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone” – a made-for-TV feature movie.

HUGH O'BRIAN YOUTH LEADERSHIP: His Lasting Legacy

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.”

HUGH O'BRIAN TODAY

Today HOBY offers multiple leadership development programs for high school students based on the Social Change Model of Leadership and incorporating community service. Community Leadership Workshops (CLeWs) are held each year locally for freshmen. HOBY State Leadership Seminars for sophomores are held throughout the United States every spring. The World Leadership Congress (WLC) for rising juniors is held each summer in July at a major university in the U.S. and invites students from around the world to participate. HOBY style programs are also conducted in Canada, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Iraq, Mexico, the Philippines, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The cultural differences that exist between countries of the world are explored in friendship by the American students and their international counterparts when they come together at the WLC. The HOBY experience is truly an inspirational event of a lifetime for student leaders. The Advanced Leadership Academy for juniors and seniors launched in 2013, HOBY’s 55th anniversary year. HOBY boasts more than 400,000 alumni worldwide. Its alumni programs include international tour and service trips for high school and college students.

O’Brian married for the first time at age 81. On June 25, 2006 he wed long-time girlfriend Virginia Barber at Forest Lawn Memorial Park with the Rev. Robert Schuller, pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, officiating. The couple was serenaded by close friend, Debbie Reynolds. O’Brian was very active well into his later years and enjoyed traveling, sailing, scuba diving and swimming. He lived with his beautiful wife in his hilltop home overlooking Beverly Hills until his death on September 5, 2016.

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