University Archives

Lot 288

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Jack Ruby's "Little Black Book" -- Amazing Resource for Future Research!

An original pocket-sized telephone and address book belonging to Jack Ruby (1911-1967), the Dallas nightclub owner who shot and killed suspected John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist; Ex-Charles Hamilton.

The spiral bound address book is wrapped in dark blue gilt-stamped leather binding. Printed in 1956 by the Eaton Paper Corporation. A partial imprint of an inscription--Ruby's name?--appears on the front cover. On the back page, Ruby has begun a laundry or shopping list, itemizing shirts and handkerchiefs. Expected wear to the covers consistent with extensive and frequent use. The inner pages are age-toned but otherwise clean and intact, even down to the plastic page protective sheets at front and back. About 40pp. 16mo.

The address book contains an alphabetical listing of dozens of Ruby's personal and professional contacts in at least eight states: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania. When the address book was first offered at auction at Charles Hamilton Galleries, Inc. (New York, New York) on June 4, 1970 [Sale 42, Lot 320], it was cataloged as a "newly discovered original record of Ruby's life and contacts, quite possibly unknown to government investigators."

The mundane entries illustrate how, prior to Ruby's shooting of Oswald, he was by all accounts very ordinary; perhaps more short-tempered than most, but still quite average. He had siblings: Ruby's two younger brothers, Earl Ruby (1915-2006) and Sam Ruby (born 1912) are listed under the "R" section. Other personal contacts include a maid, dentist, barber, jeweler, the proprietors of "Susy's Italian Rest.," J.C. Penney's department store, Braniff Airways, Sara-Brown Cookie Company, Prudential Life Insurance Company, and even Democratic Party Headquarters in Nashville.

Ruby's network of professional contacts complicates this picture. As a manager of underworld entertainment venues such as nightclubs, dance halls, and strip clubs, Ruby doubtlessly made some interesting--and perhaps shady--connections, and occasionally rubbed elbows with celebrities. Sammy Davis, Jr., the singer, dancer, and vaudevillian, is listed at the Gorham Hotel in New York City under the "D" section. Other contacts could be characters right out of a Raymond Chandler detective novel: "Buster Smith," "Chubby Jackson," "Goldie Harris," "Bobbye Huges," "Stormy Meadows," "Jack Keller [at the] Flamingo Hotel," and, we can assume, a performer named "Jewel." Ruby also had the contact information for the Savoy Agency and Vogue Entertainment Agency, as well as for Hudson Theatres, Ebony Magazine, and the Ft. Worth Press.

This incredible artifact is uniquely worthy of further research, and sure to interest any serious Kennedyiana collector.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Westport, CT, US

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