Danny Thomas, Entertainer. As a "starving actor" Thomas made a vow: If he found success, he would open a shrine dedicated to St Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes. In 1962, Thomas founded the non-profit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital where thousands of children have been treated for catastrophic illnesses. "Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others."