Prior to becoming famous for drawing oddities from around the world in his daily “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” cartoon, Robert Ripley was hired as a sports cartoonists for a variety of newspapers.
In the early 1900s, photography wasn’t utilized in newspapers the way it is today. Photography was expensive, and they hadn’t quite figured out an easy way to transfer photography to print for mass production.
Instead, newspapers employed cartoonists to draw reenactments of news stories and sporting events.
How it all got started
Robert Ripley was an everyday sports cartoonist when on a winter day in December of 1918, he ran out of ideas.
“I was bereft of ideas.” -Robert RipleyHe started riffling through his notebook of clippings and came up with the idea to draw a series of unusual sports records.
He submitted the cartoon to his editors with the title “Champs and Chumps” but also offered “Believe It or Not” as an alternative title.
The next “Believe It or Not” cartoon didn’t appear until ten months later! It wasn’t until 1929 that Ripley’s Believe It or Not! became a daily feature.
And the rest, as they say, is history.