Passionaries Sign-up


In 1958, famous Wyatt Earp television star Hugh O’Brian created Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) to “spur on” youth leadership, corralling outstanding sophomores together regionally and having them interact with world-famous adults. Since 2000, every public and private high school in the United States has been invited to select one outstanding student to attend one of its 70 yearly HOBY leadership seminars. By 2003, over 325,000 tenth-graders had participated at no cost. 14,500 new HOBY Ambassadors attend each year. For the past 45 years under Hugh’s leadership, a dedicated group of more than 5,200 committed volunteers donate over one million hours a year to run HOBY programs at the local level. This program would not be possible without the generous gifts from big business, small business and individuals.


Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY)

10880 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 410

Los Angeles, CA 90024

Telephone: (310) 474-4370

FAX: (310) 475-5426


From Passionaries... From Gunfighter to Candle Lighter


Hugh O’Brian, HOBY 


“Hugh, what are you going to do with this?” Dr. Albert Schweitzer, humanitarian doctor and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, took the hand of American actor Hugh O’Brian and looked him in the eye as he asked that question. After spending nine life-changing days at Dr. Schweitzer's medical clinic in Central Africa in 1958, Hugh was not surprised by the impact of the inquiry. Over the course of those African days, O’Brian had helped build cribs for sick babies and pass out food to hungry patients including lepers by day. Nights he devoted to sitting up with the doctor and hearing how the world needed help from America. At different times, the elder Schweitzer had told O’Brian, “The most important thing in education is teaching young people to think for themselves,” and “The United States must take a leadership role in bringing peace to the world.” Just two weeks earlier, Hugh had been in Winnipeg, Canada on break from starring in his hit television show. Many over 40 will always remember him as gunfighter Wyatt Earp—the title character in one of early television’s top-rated shows for seven years running. Hugh recalls, “I was headlining in a circus there that summer. I used to like to do rodeos, horse shows . . .anything to have fun and make an extra buck. When I got the invite to visit the world-famous Albert Schweitzer, I caught the first plane to join him in the deepest part of Africa.” Nine days after his arrival, as he was leaving the small jungle village and saying goodbye, Hugh was boldly challenged by Schweitzer’s “What are you going to do with this?”…and that question changed the direction of his life..”.