Which famous people have you outlived?
Died when: 68 years 35 days
Star Sign: Libra
Robert J. O'Donnell (1891–1959) was an American businessman and philanthropist who, with partner Karl Hoblitzelle, managed the Interstate Theater chain as vice president and general manager from 1925 until his death from lung cancer in 1959. O’Donnell is best known for helping facilitate the growth of the "Majestic" chain of theaters during the "classical Hollywood narrative" and later for his philanthropic work both with the Variety Club Children’s Charity and the Robert J. O'Donnell Film Series Endowment Fund for the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.American comedian and actor Bob Hope credits O'Donnell as the person who gave him his "big break into show business" in Hope’s autobiography Have Tux, Will Travel. O'Donnell was also instrumental in beginning the acting career of Audie Murphy. While working as a theater usher at the age of twelve in his hometown of Chicago, O’Donnell survived the infamous Iroquois Theatre fire, the deadliest theater fire and the deadliest single-building fire in United States history; it killed 605 people.