Jack Leon Ruby

Jack Leon Ruby

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 3 Jan 1967 (aged 55)
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Burial Norridge, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Plot Violet Section, Plot 2 lot 9
Memorial ID 911 · View Source
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John F. Kennedy Assassination Figure. He was the murderer of accused Presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in a downtown Dallas, Texas police station (Oswald was never convicted of the crime). Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald as he was being transferred in the basement garage of the police station, and the killing was broadcast on live television. Many people believe that Ruby intentionally killed Oswald to cover up others' involvement in the assassination of 35th US President John F. Kennedy just two days earlier. This has led to many conspiracy theories on who was involved and how. Born Jacob Rubenstein in Chicago, Illinois, the fifth child of eight of Joseph Rubenstein and Fannie Turek Rutkowski, both of whom were born in Poland. His exact date of birth has never been established, as birth registration was not required. In 1902, his parents left Poland, emigrating first to England, then Canada, and finally settling in Chicago, Illinois in 1903. His father was a carpenter, and they lived in a poor Jewish neighborhood of Chicago. Growing up on the streets of Chicago, Jack alternatively grew up with a street gang and in an institute for young men operated by the Jewish Social Service Bureau. He was considered incorrigible and a truant. His bureau evaluation indicated that he was egocentric, quick thinking, had a lightning temper, liked attention from others, and had a great interest in sex and in street gangs. In 1925, Jack lived in a foster home. His home life continued to deteriorate with his parents separating in 1940. From age 10 and on, teenaged Jack supported his family by scalping tickets to sports events, selling novelty items, and other scams, all characterized by self-employment. Young Jack Ruby refused to work for others. In 1933, he left to go to Los Angeles, in search of employment, working at odd jobs including selling door-to-door magazine subscriptions, selling racetrack sheets, becoming a singing waiter, and other hustling jobs. He returned to Chicago in 1937, at first unemployed, then working for a local Labor Union, Local 20467 of the Scrap Iron and Junk Handlers Union. During early World War II, Ruby sold busts of FDR, and worked for Globe Auto Glass Co. In this period, he was considered an extreme patriot, greatly admiring President Roosevelt, but otherwise showing no interest in politics. He considered himself a ladies man, liked to dance, yet was reported to be very gentlemanly with women. In May 1943, he was drafted into the Army Air Corps, serving at various air bases in the southern US. Reaching the rank of PFC, he was discharged on 21 Feb 1946, and returned to Chicago where he joined his brothers, Earl and Sam, in starting a company to make items such as key chains, salt and pepper shakers, and bottle openers. In 1947, Jack's sister Eva Grant had started a night-club in Dallas, Texas, and when she had trouble with a boyfriend, Jack went to Dallas to help her straighten out things, and to help her run her club. From this point, Jack apparently began associating with criminal types. Although never convicted of criminal activities, Jack Ruby was considered to be of suspicious involvement in many illegal or shady activities. In 1947, Jack and his brothers, Sam and Earl, legally changed their name from Rubenstein to Ruby, to avoid having a Jewish sounding name in their business. In 1953, Jack operated the Vegas Club, a local Dallas night-club, while still assisting his sister in operating her club, the Singapore Supper Club. Jack also owned and sold several other night-clubs in the next ten years, including the Silver Spur, the Carousel, and Hernando's Hideaway. During these years, Jack's temper often got him into trouble with his employees, yet he was also quick to admit when he was wrong and to apologize. After President Kennedy's assassination and Ruby's murder of Oswald, he was investigated by the Warren Commission, which revealed that his financial affairs were chaotic at best, and often in disarray. Ruby never married, and while defensive of his Jewish faith, he was not considered devout. He was considered generous to his friends, often loaning them money and forgetting to collect back the loan. Ruby died in prison on 3 January 1967 of lung cancer.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 911
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jack Leon Ruby (25 Apr 1911–3 Jan 1967), Find A Grave Memorial no. 911, citing Westlawn Cemetery, Norridge, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .