Amos Jacobs aka Danny Thomas

My husband’s grandfather, George Jacobs and Amos Jacobs were first cousins, their fathers were brothers, Charles Jacobs and George Jacob.

I believe that makes my husband Doug and Amos, 1st cousins twice removed, but everyone in the family just calls him Uncle Amos.

Since I began researching the Jacobs family history, Uncle Amos with his enormous fame and the thousands of articles written about him have been an invaluable resource for me.

I have known who Danny Thomas was my entire life.  I knew that he was a very special man long before I started our family blog, but the more I know about him, the more respect and admiration I have for him.

Danny Thomas & The Entertainment Industry  

The contributions he has made to the entertainment industry and television are staggering.

He produced his number one show,  Make Room for Daddy, later changed to The Danny Thomas show, and from that show he created the very first ever spin-off show.

Danny Thomas created many unforgettable characters and he discovered many actors and actresses, including Mary Tyler Moore.

He produced shows that are the fabric of America like The Andy Griffith Show,  The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour and The Joey Bishop Show, and the Dick Van Dyke Show . 

It is incredible to think that the son of Lebanese immigrants, from Toledo, could do all of that,  yet it is a fraction of what Amos accomplished in his lifetime.

Danny Thomas popularizes being Lebanese-American

Uncle Amos gave a face and a name to all Lebanese-Americans.

He created a number one prime time show around a Lebanese-American character at a time when Americans had never even heard of people from Lebanon.

On the census reports through 1940 all of the Jacobs family list their home country and their nationality as Syria.   Under the Turkish Ottoman Empire rule Lebanon was technically called greater Syria.

These folks may have listed their birthplace as Turkey or Syria, but the Maronite Catholics, from the Mountains of Lebanon spoke their own language, Lebanese Arabic, they associated with primarily with other Lebanese people, they married primarily Lebanese, and they ate Lebanese food.

They were Lebanese.  Not Syrian, Not Turkish.  They were Lebanese.  But no body called themselves Lebanese until Danny Thomas made being Lebanese

Danny Thomas’ promise to St Jude

The most important work Amos Jacobs did by far was founding the St. Jude Hospital and its pediatric cancer research center.

Through all of his accomplishments he remained humble enough to see the big picture and be thankful for his improbable journey.

Many people before and after Uncle Amos made their mark on Hollywood and forgot to be humble,  forgot where they came from, forgot to give back, but not Amos.

I am so proud to be a part of a family with a man like Amos Jacobs.


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