The Truth About Robert Ripley: The Man Behind Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

We have all encountered Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in some form or another— whether you’ve gone to a Ripley’s Odditorium or you read a Ripley’s book or you played a round of Ripley’s mini-golf. This vast empire was all started by one man: an American cartoonist named Robert Ripley.

It takes a unique mind to think up the bizarre and wacky world that Ripley created. Keep reading to learn how this man became a success story for the ages, smack-dab in the middle of the Great Depression.

He Was Born On Christmas Day

robert ripley black and white headshot
Photo Credit: @believeripley / Instagram
Photo Credit: @believeripley / Instagram

Robert Ripley was born on December 25th, 1890 in Santa Rosa, California. He was a cartoonist, an anthropologist, and an entrepreneur. He’s best known for creating Ripley’s Believe It or Not! which was a cartoon series in a newspaper before it became a radio show and then a television show.

Robert Ripley sold his first cartoon to Life magazine in 1908. His life was a series of successes from that point on.