Dearest departed: Hugh O’Brian


Dave Harbour

One year I served as Chairman of the Hugh O’Brian Youth foundation – Alaska (HOBY). Hugh and his black lab stayed with us — and our chocolate lab, Jake — during one of Alaska’s Foundation events in the mid-80s.

Fully committed to youth leadership training, he would call on a regular basis from his Beverly Hills home to check on our progress developing that year’s Alaska program: bringing dozens of rural and urban high school upper class achievers to our Alaska Pacific University venue for training during part of a midsummer week.

I never knew of a famous, wealthy person who donated and devoted so much of his own wealth and personal time to helping so many tens of thousands of young people achieve their highest leadership potential.

Hugh, the great actor, was an expert on Wyatt Earp’s history in Alaska and loved coming North. We spent hours talking about Earp’s adventures from Tombstone, Arizona to Nome, Alaska via Juneau and its old Red Dog Saloon!

But mostly we talked about the children…the leaders of the coming generation. He was committed to helping young people learn adult skills and the art of critical thinking and LEADERSHIP.

When today I heard of his passing three thoughts came fast to mind. I remembered with joy sitting in our basement with him talking … as our labs rested at our feet. I remembered the end of our training when he and I gathered the happy students on the campus grass to summarize our time together…and hear the incredible, inspiring stories from students, as they described how Hugh and his leadership training program had changed their lives. Last, I thought that many of today’s maturing leaders all over the country were probably alumni of this special man’s commitment to his country…and to each of them!

God has blessed you, my friend. Thank you for your service and your example!


We can learn of Hugh O’Brian’s continuing, good work by going

Hugh O’Brian, who starred in the long-running series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” died Monday. He was 91. The actor died peacefully in his Beverly Hills home,…