Hugh O’Brian


Hugh O’Brian was an iconic actor, best known for his roles in movies and TV shows. However, he was much more than just an actor. He was also the founder of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program (HOBY), which has impacted the lives of countless young people. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the life and legacy of Hugh O’Brian.

Early Life and Career

Hugh O'Brian

Hugh O’Brian was born Hugh Donald Etkes in Rochester, New York, in 1925. He served in the Marines during World War II before pursuing a career in acting. He got his big break in 1955 when he was cast as the lead in the TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.” The show was a huge success and ran for six seasons. O’Brian became a household name and went on to star in several movies, including “The Shootist” with John Wayne.

TV Shows and Movies

Aside from his role in “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” Hugh O’Brian appeared in numerous other TV shows and movies. Some of his notable TV roles include “The Virginian,” “The Love Boat,” and “Murder, She Wrote.” He also appeared in movies such as “In Harm’s Way,” “Ten Little Indians,” and “Ambush Bay.”


In 1958, Hugh O’Brian had a chance encounter with Dr. Albert Schweitzer, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Schweitzer’s words inspired O’Brian to create the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program (HOBY). The program aims to help young people develop their leadership skills and make a positive impact on their communities. Since its inception, HOBY has impacted over 500,000 young people in the United States and around the world.

Later Years and Legacy

Hugh O’Brian continued to work in the entertainment industry throughout his later years. He also remained committed to HOBY and was actively involved in the organization until his death in 2016. O’Brian’s legacy lives on through the thousands of young people who have participated in the HOBY program and gone on to become leaders in their communities and beyond.


Hugh O’Brian was more than just an actor. He was a visionary who saw the potential in young people and worked tirelessly to help them develop their leadership skills. His legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.

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