Danny Thomas is the founder of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; however, he is more famous for his acting career. He starred in various productions including The Jazz Singer, I'll See You in My Dreams, and Make Room for Daddy. He also produced shows such as The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Andy Griffith Show.
Danny Thomas was born on January 6th, 1912, to Charles and Margaret Jacobs. He was one of the nine children in his family. He began to make money and support his family at a young age, selling newspapers, and making candy. After seven years of small jobs, he decided he could move to Detroit to start a career in the entertainment business. During the time he was in Detroit, he became a singer on the "Happy Hour Show", a radio show. Three years later, he married his co-worker on the show, Rose Martell. However, he was not necessarily ready to raise a child. He was not making enough money to support his family. Anxious, he began to pray to St. Jude to help him become successful. He promised the saint he would build a shrine for him if he aided him in finding a career in acting. A year later, Danny had it made in the show business. He was making 500 dollars a week, and was being booked for shows in New York, Chicago, and Hollywood. He also starred in a show called "Make Room for Daddy," which was essentially about Danny's life, an actor trying to find time for both his family and his career. In fact, it was usually called the "Danny Thomas Show." After working on the show's 11 seasons, he met Sheldon Leonard, and they began the Thomas-Leonard Productions, that became famous for shows such as the "Andy Griffith Show," and the "Dick Van Dyke Show." Danny also became well known as a generous humanitarian. He kept his promise to St. Jude, and in 1962, he founded St. Jude Children's Hospital, in Memphis Tennessee. He founded the hospital on his basis that "No child should die in the dawn of life." The hospital refused to take any money from the patients or their family, and rather gathers money from sponsors, and fundraising. Danny Thomas died in 1991, of a punctured liver. Later, in 2000, his wife died. They were buried on the grounds of St. Jude's. Danny was the winner of the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, in 2004.