Robert Chester Ruark, Jr. (1915-1965)

North Carolina Native Son

Robert Ruark (December 29, 1915, in Wilmington, North Carolina – July 1, 1965, in London, England[1]) was an American author, syndicated columnist, and "big game" hunter.

Welcome to the Robert Ruark Society's home on the Internet.  The society is made up of a group of fans from all across Ruark's native North Carolina, the nation and from around the world. We remember Ruark and we want others to remember him, too. 

Anyone may join the-is society. There are no dues or fees associated with any individual's membership. Once you provide the society with your contact information you are added to the membership list. Just complete the application and submit it to the society's address in Chapel Hill, NC (USA). 

Download a membership Application now, complete the form and mail to the society.


The University of North Carolina
Arts & Sciences Foundation
134 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


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'Poor man's Hemingway'

Author Robert Ruark led a rich literary life. So why is it so few people have heard of this hard-drinking, hard-living hero of Southport?



Famous opinions

Robert Ruark’s fame led to relationships with many famous people. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has preserved some of their correspondence. Here are a few of the more memorable excerpts:

“Thanks for your piece on dirty comedians. It blew a fresh breeze across a smutty section of America.

Freedom of speech is one thing, but these gents are overdoing it.”

– Groucho Marx, June 25, 1963

“I only hope you don’t find it necessary to shoot any elephants while you are there. I am sure you will agree with me that there are few enough Republicans – man or animal – as it is.”

– To “Bob” from Richard Nixon, Dec. 4, 1959

“Your observations concerning Alcatraz were most interesting, and I was particularly pleased to see you support my contention that there has been too much coddling of criminals in recent years. Certainly, as you indicated, this is a trend which is extremely dangerous.”

– J. Edgar Hoover, Nov. 4, 1958

“I received your letter of July 29th and of course I remember the evening we christened your piano.”

– Conrad Hilton, president of Hilton Hotels, Aug. 3, 1959

“I think we should picket Mr. North. He is 51, has drunk more liquor than either one of us, and still manages to look like a small boy.”

– From Ruark to Ernest Hemingway, Nov. 3, 1954

“We have developed a taste for the Ruark style . . “

– Robert Fuoss, managing editor of The Saturday Evening Post, Nov. 14,1944

“The idea for this column stems really from Secretary of the Navy Forrestal and from Admiral Merrill of the Navy’s Bureau of Public Relations, both of whom have expressed concern that once the war in Europe is concluded, the public may be inclined to forget about the war against Japan.

“NEA believes that you are just the man to help overcome this loss of interest. Knowing you as an experienced reporter and a gifted writer, we believe you could go into the Pacific theater and do for the Sailor, the Marine and the Coast Guardsman what Ernie Pyle has done for the Soldier in Europe.”

– Peter Edson, Washington Bureau, Newspaper Enterprise Association Service, Sept. 20,1944