“With a $100,000-plus salary from newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst, beginning in 1929, followed by endorsement deals, speaking engagements, and earnings from his best-selling books, radio shows, movies, and museums, he was earning well over half a million dollars a year during the height of the Depression. By 1936, a newspaper poll found, Ripley was more popular than James Cagney, President Roosevelt, Jack Dempsey, and even Lindbergh.” – Vanity Fair
features an excerpt adapted from Neal Thompson’s new book, A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley.
His legacy lives on in his many museums
worldwide, including his very first
in St. Augustine, Florida which is housed in a 130 year old, poured concrete castle built for Standard Oil partner William G. Warden.
If you watched TV during the eighties, you probably remember the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not!” series hosted by Jack Palance
(and featuring a great theme song
). A later incarnation
was produced in 2000 on TBS and hosted by Dean Cain.
His syndicated cartoons
, which have run uninterrupted since 1929, can be found in nearly 200 newspapers worldwide.
And if you’d like to listen to the man himself, there is an archive
of his radio broadcasts available for your enjoyment.
Incidentally, this is the first time that a post on Robert L. Ripley has been featured on Metafilter. Believe it… or not!