Who Was Jack Ruby?

How a small-time strip joint operator ushered in America’s age of violence.
Who Was Jack Ruby?
In the limelight at last, Jack Ruby answers reporters’ questions after a pre-trial hearing in February 1964.
Photograph by Bob Jackson

All I know about the best man in my wedding is he didn’t exist.

Five days before John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, I got married for the second time. It was a Sunday, the day after I’d covered the SMU-Arkansas game at the Cotton Bowl, and Jo and I—who had known each other a good three weeks—were convinced by this romantic con man who called himself Richard Noble that we should drive to Durant, Oklahoma, and get married. Richard Noble personally drove us in his air-conditioned convertible. He paid for the blood tests and license. We used his 1949 Stanford class ring in the ceremony, and we drank a quart of his scotch and sang “Hey, Look Me Over” (“Remember when you’re down and out, the only way is up!”) on the way back to Dallas.

There was no such person as Richard Noble, and the Stanford class ring was bought in a hock shop. Whoever the man was who called himself Richard Noble had set up a bogus sales office in a North Dallas apartment complex inhabited mainly

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