Bob Thomas (reporter)

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Bob Thomas
Born Robert Joseph Thomas
(1922-01-26)January 26, 1922
San Diego, California, U.S.
Died March 14, 2014(2014-03-14) (aged 92)
Encino, California, U.S.
Occupation Biographer, reporter
Spouse(s) Patricia (m. 1947–2014; his death)
Children Three

Robert Joseph "Bob" Thomas (January 26, 1922 – March 14, 2014) was an American Hollywood film industry biographer and reporter who worked for the Associated Press from 1944.

Personal life[edit]

Born in San Diego in 1922,[1] he grew up in Los Angeles, where his father was a film publicist. He attended UCLA. He lived in Encino with his wife, Patricia. They have three daughters.[2]

Thomas, aged 92, died on March 14, 2014 at his home.[3]

Writing career[edit]

Thomas made his mark by engaging celebrities in activities that brought out their personalities, whether by measuring their waistline after childbirth (as he did with Betty Grable) or testing just how tall a leading lady needed to be by kissing her himself (as he did with June Haver). Acclaimed as the dean of Hollywood reporters, Bob Thomas has been writing about the movie business for the Associated Press since the days when Hollywood was run by the men who founded it: Jack L. Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck, Harry Cohn and Louis B. Mayer.[citation needed]

During his long history of reporting for the AP, Thomas authored at least 30 books. Many in the film industry credit his 1969 biography of producer Irving G. Thalberg as sparking their interest in pursuing a career behind the scenes. Other Thomas biographies include Joan Crawford, Marlon Brando, David O. Selznick, Walter Winchell, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Howard Hughes, Abbott & Costello, Walt Disney, and a children's book, Walt Disney: Magician of the Movies.[2]

His biographies on Howard Hughes[4] and Abbott & Costello[5] have been made into television movies.[2]


For contributions to the motion picture industry, Bob Thomas received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that was paid for by his friends in advance and placed at 6879 Hollywood Boulevard.[6]

In 2009, in recognition of over 60 years of covering the entertainment business for the Associated Press, the Publicists Guild awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award.[7]



  1. ^ "California Births, 1905 - 1995".
  2. ^ a b c d e Thomas, Bob (1978). Joan Crawford: A Biography. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-24033-1.  (author notes from end jacket cover)
  3. ^ Rogers, John (March 14, 2014). "Bob Thomas, dean of Hollywood reporters, dies". Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977 TV movie)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  5. ^ "Bud and Lou (1978 TV movie)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  6. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame database". 
  7. ^ Cohen, Sandy (Feb 19, 2009). "AP's Bob Thomas Wins Lifetime Achievement Award". AP, ABC News. Retrieved 4 July 2009. [dead link]


  • Bob Thomas, Los Angeles Times, Steve Proffitt, March 21, 1999

External links[edit]