Robert LeRoy Ripley (December 25, 1890 – May 27, 1949) was an American cartoonist, entrepreneur, and amateur anthropologist who is known for creating the Ripley's Believe It or Not! newspaper panel series, radio show, and television show which feature odd facts from around the world.
Subjects covered in Ripley's cartoons and text ranged from sports feats to little-known facts about unusual and exotic sites. But what ensured the concept's popularity may have been that Ripley also included items submitted by readers, who supplied photographs of a wide variety of small-town American trivia ranging from unusually shaped vegetables to oddly marked domestic animals, all documented by photographs and then depicted by Ripley's drawings.
In 1919 Ripley married Beatrice Roberts. He made his first trip around the world in 1922, delineating a travel journal in installments. This ushered in a new topic for his cartoons: unusual and exotic foreign locales and cultures. 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. In 1926 his feature moved from the New York Globe to the New York Post.