Robert Ripley

Born Dec 26, 1890

Robert LeRoy Ripley was an American cartoonist, entrepreneur and amateur anthropologist, who created the world famous Ripley's Believe It or Not! newspaper panel series, radio show, and television show which feature odd 'facts' from around the world.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Robert Ripley.


1890 Birth Born on December 25, 1890.


1919 28 Years Old In 1919 Ripley married Beatrice Roberts.


1922 31 Years Old He made his first trip around the world in 1922, delineating a travel journal in installments. … Read More
1923 32 Years Old Because he took the veracity of his work quite seriously, in 1923, Ripley hired a researcher and polyglot named Norbert Pearlroth as a full-time assistant. … Read More
1925 34 Years Old He published both a travel journal and a guide to the game of handball in 1925.
1926 35 Years Old In 1926, Ripley became the New York state handball champion and also wrote a book on boxing. With a proven track record as a versatile writer and artist, he attracted the attention of publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst, who managed the King Features Syndicate. In 1929, Hearst was responsible for Believe It or Not! making its syndicated debut in seventeen papers worldwide. … Read More
1929 38 Years Old On November 3, 1929, he drew a panel in his syndicated cartoon saying "Believe It or Not, America has no national anthem." … Read More
1930 39 Years Old …  In 1930, he began a fourteen-year run on radio and a nineteen-year association with the show's producer, Doug Storer. … Read More


1931 40 Years Old By a law signed on March 3, 1931, by President Herbert Hoover, "The Star-Spangled Banner" was adopted as the national anthem of the United States.
1932 41 Years Old After a trip to Asia in 1932, Ripley opened his first museum, the Odditorium, in Chicago in 1933. … Read More


1949 58 Years Old 1 More Event
His health worsened, and on May 27, 1949, at age 58, he succumbed to a heart attack in New York City. … Read More
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