Lori Hope was an author, producer, and public speaker with more than 25 years experience as a communications professional. A former newspaper editor-in-chief and award-winning journalist who developed hundreds of medical news reports and documentaries for television broadcast, she earned dozens of awards including two regional Emmys, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award honor, and a National Associated Press Broadcasting Award.
Hope’s widely-read book, Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know, has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Redbook magazine, U.S. News & World Reports, NBC’s “Today Show”, ABC News’ “Nightline” program, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Hallmark Channel, and other prominent print and broadcast media. Hope, who quit smoking seventeen years before her diagnosis with lung cancer, wrote essays and opinion pieces that appeared in Newsweek and other publications and were broadcast on hundreds of public radio stations nationwide. One of her essays appears in two McGraw-Hill college English textbook anthology with works by Barbara Ehrenreich, Eric Schlosser, and Nelson Mandela. Her broadcast work appeared on CBS, ABC, PBS, HBO, and NBC stations, and she was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show.
Hope lectured about conscious and compassionate communication, as well as smoking cessation and addiction and the stigma of lung cancer, at institutions including Tulane University Medical School and UCLA, and presented before organizations and businesses including the American Cancer Society, Google, the Oncology Nursing Society, and the American Thoracic Society International Conference. She frequently made public presentations not only about communicating with cancer patients, but with anyone who was suffering from any illness or condition, even depression. Her speeches were based in part on the findings of research she conducted in writing Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know, which includes interviews with authorities including Jimmie Holland, MD (Memorial-Sloan Kettering psychiatrist, creator of the field of Psycho-oncology, and author of the classic, The Human Side of Cancer);Wendy Harpham, MD (author of Happiness in a Storm); and Jerome Groopman, MD (New Yorker staff writer, author of The Anatomy of Hope, and Harvard professor and physician);
A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Hope earned a BA in Philosophy before becoming a journalist and working at several network affiliate stations in St. Louis, Portland, Oregon, and other markets. She taught documentary production in San Francisco at the nation’s most advanced non-commercial media access and training center, Bay Area Video Coalition, for more than a decade, chaired her temple’s social action committee for three years, and served on numerous nonprofit boards.
Hope was diagnosed with lung cancer on June 20, 2002, after getting a CT scan for an abdominal concern. Her abdomen was clear, but the radiologist detected a shadow on the lower left lobe of her lung, which turned out to be a tumor. She underwent a lobectomy and was NED – No Evidence of Disease – for a decade, during which time, she dedicated herself to giving back, by serving on the Board of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation; the California steering committee of The Lung Cancer Alliance; and the honorary board of The Cancer League, and worked as an advocate for the National Lung Cancer Partnership.
In 2012, Hope’s cancer returned. She passed away on September 27th of that year, but her legacy of kindness, compassion and service endures.
In her spare time, Hope enjoyed her family and friends, walking her dog, and exercising to stay strong, healthy, and centered.
Lori Hope grew up in the St. Louis, Missouri suburbs of Clayton and Richmond Heights and graduated from Washington University with a degree in philosophy after studying aesthetics, linguistics, literature, and anthropology. Intrigued by the German poet and writer Rainer Maria Rilke’s words, “Learn to love the questions themselves” and “Ask yourself in the still hours of the night: Must I write?” Hope embarked on a career of writing and producing to plumb life’s questions and themes and enlist the help of a greater community to provide the answers.
After stints as a general assignment reporter, news anchor, and medical correspondent, Hope became a staff producer at the NBC television affiliate in Portland, Oregon, making documentaries that aired mostly on weeknights, pre-empting Prime Time shows. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1993 and became an independent writer, producer, and media and public affairs consultant, later returning to journalism as a newspaper editor, commentator, and columnist.
Hope said her mission in all of her work, including her writing, speaking, and public outreach, was to reflect the wisdom of others as well as share her own insights. As Edith Wharton wrote, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”