There's a new biography of Robert Ripley and Vanity Fair has an excerpt.
Along the way to international fame, he accumulated knowledge of thousands of oddities, girlfriends from around the world, a curio-stuffed house on a private island—and who could forget that dried whale penis?
A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley by Neal Thompson promises to be insightful and just as gosh-wow compelling as his long-running panel
Above: Robert Ripley with a long cigarette holder in 1933.
Ripley was an amateur. No formal art training. Regardless, MODERN MECHANIX lists him as the top money-making cartoonist in 1933:
"He was Howard Hughes crossed with PT Barnum; Peter Pan crossed with Marco Polo."