"When I die," Tony Hope told a California newspaper in 1994, "my obituary will start, 'Tony Hope, son of Bob Hope, died yesterday.' It doesn't matter what I do with my life, that's what it will say."
Anthony J. "Tony" Hope, 63, who died on June 28 at Washington Hospital Center, was indeed the son of the late entertainer but, despite his own gifts as a raconteur and his appreciation for a good joke, his life took a very different course from that of his famous father, who died last July 27 at age 100.
The younger Mr. Hope, whose cause of death has not been reported, was a Washington attorney and lobbyist who served in several government positions, most notably as head of the National Indian Gaming Commission. He also was a competitive swimmer and sailor and a tournament bridge and poker player.
Mr. Hope was born in Chicago in 1940. He was adopted by Bob Hope and his wife, Dolores, shortly after his birth and grew up in North Hollywood, Calif. After graduating from Loyola High School in Los Angeles, he entered Georgetown University, graduating in 1962. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1965 and, after a stint in the Air Force, returned to Malibu, Calif., where he became director of business affairs at Twentieth Century Fox.
He returned to Washington in 1975 after President Gerald R. Ford appointed him vice president of finance for the Overseas Private Investment Corp. President Jimmy Carter named him to the Government Management Improvement Council, and he was one of the authors of a Grace Commission report recommending that Dulles and National airports be privatized.
In 1986, Mr. Hope was a candidate for a San Fernando Valley congressional seat, but he was defeated in the Republican primary by the mayor of Simi Valley, Elton Gallegly, in part because Mr. Hope had lived in Washington for the previous 10 years. Mr. Gallegly won in the general election.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush appointed Mr. Hope the first chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, the agency that regulates the multibillion industry of bingo and other gambling enterprises on Indian reservations.
His tenure was scandal-free but not without controversy. In 1991, he responded to questions regarding the indictment of several casino managers in California by saying, "I look at this indictment the way you look at finding a cockroach in your kitchen. You know you're going to find a lot more before you're finished."
According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, tribal leaders took Mr. Hope's comment to mean that Indian gaming was "infested with undesirable elements."
"My only comment on something like this is, I'm a regulator and I'm doing my job," Mr. Hope was quoted as saying.
Mr. Hope served for five years as chairman of the gaming commission. In recent years he continued his private law practice and consulting work and represented the accounting firm Touche Ross & Co. and insurance company Mutual of Omaha in their Washington dealings. He also served on several boards, including those of Mount Vernon College, the USO, the National Theatre and the Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation.
Survivors include his wife of 12 years, Paula Nickey Hope of Washington; a son, Zachary Hope of Santa Monica, Calif.; a daughter, Miranda Hope of Washington, Va.; his mother, Dolores Hope of Toluca Lake, Calif.; a sister, Linda Hope of Toluca Lake; and a brother, William Kelly Hope of Oakland, Calif. His first marriage, to Judith Richards Hope, mother of his two children, ended in divorce.