Robert Ruark Revisited

Robert Ruark Bookplate

North Carolina novelist Robert Ruark, who died in 1965, continues to have a small but devoted following. The Wilmington native and UNC alumnus is perhaps best known for his novel The Old Man and the Boy (1957). He was an active sportsman and traveller, and his devotion to these themes in his work meant that he was often eclipsed by the figure of Ernest Hemingway. Nonetheless there appears to be something of a Ruark renaissance these days. There is an active Robert Ruark Society, a Robert Ruark Foundation in Southport, an exhibit on Ruark is being planned for the Chapel Hill Museum, and yesterday’s Wilmington Star-News ran a nice profile of the author.

The image shown here is of a bookplate from Robert Ruark’s personal library, some volumes of which are now housed at UNC-Chapel Hill.

30 thoughts on “Robert Ruark Revisited”

  1. I am trying to find a copy of the DVD “Africa Adventure” made to support the Robert Ruark Foundation. Any ideas you may have will be greatly appreciated. Grey McGown Fort Worth

  2. I am also trying to find a copy of the DVD “Africa Adventure.” Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

  3. Is there a web site or book that would reveal more about his life? Why did The Old Man hunt with him and not his Dad? when/how did the Old Man die and where is he buried? Did he have kids? etc.


  4. WHQR a Southeastern Public Radio Station in Wilmington,N.C.produced several programs several years ago and Carolina Bookshelf #7 “The Old Man and the Boy” was one of them. I personally have a copy. At the time you could purchase one. Now, I don’t know. …………………
    also there was a folklore publication of the Cape Fear Area Sponsored by Wilmington Parks and Recreation and a presentation of
    “The Old Man and the BOY” a dramatic adaptation of the memoir by Robert Ruark.
    Marjorie Megivern(Mrs. James McGivern) may have additionmal copies and lives in Wilmington, N.C.
    My son was the artist for the publication and one of the staff writers for “Wind ‘n Tide”~~
    My Best to YOU.

  5. I’m still looking for a copy of “African Adventure” – can anyone tell me where to find one? Thanks!

  6. Grey, Julie, and David-

    I have also been unable to locate a copy of Africa Adventure for purchase online. In fact, according to WorldCat, the only library copy of the film is held at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

  7. Just finished my new copy of Ruark Remembered by his long time secretary/confidant Alan Ritchie. It contains a wealth of biographical info and insights into the writing methods, etc., of this remarkable author. A must read for Ruark aficionados. I, too, would love to find a copy (DVD, if one exists, or VHS) of Africa Adventure. Anyone have any luck with that?

  8. A few years ago Africa Adventure was sold through a major outdoor store. Unfortunately the maker did not obtain the correct permissions and hence it was essentially bootleg. I happened to be in the right place at the right time and got a copy. Yes, they are hard to get.

  9. About the Ritchie book, I felt it was poorly written, repetitive, and duplicated information that Hugh Foster published under “Someone of Value” even though Fosters book was published first, the Ritchie manuscript existed long before. Even many of the chapter titles were the same, and more so the contents, especially the early chapters. It is hard for me to believe that Foster did not have access to this Ritchie manuscript when he wrote his book, although he would have certainly credited it.

  10. Does any one know how I can contact the Robert Ruark Society/Foundation in NC? I can find nothing about them on the web.

  11. According to a pamphlet in the North Carolina Collection, there is a Robert Ruark Society of Chapel Hill. The contact information given in the pamphlet is:
    Robert Ruark Society of Chapel Hill
    510 Meadowmont Village Circle
    Box 115
    Chapel Hill, NC 27517

  12. I am contacting the proper people for permission to make copies of African Adventure. The only copy available is b+w. but better than nothing. I understand it is grainy, but veiwable. It was taken from a VHS and put on DVD. I should be receiving it in 2 weeks. After I have the proper permission, or find out how to get a legal copy, I will let you guys and gals know.

  13. Here is a bit more information on African Adventure. Jessica Sedwick’s post (May 7, 2008) is correct. The UCLA Film & Television Archive does have a copy for on-site use. In some cases, with permission of the copyright holder, UCLA will make a copy. Physical feasibility of duplication is another matter, as is cost. For anyone who wants a copy of this item, the first step is to contact the folks listed below.

    UCLA Film and Television Archive
    Commercial Services
    1015 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
    Hollywood, CA 90038
    phone: (323) 466-8559
    fax (323) 461-6317

  14. For those who are interested, we recently opened up The Robert Ruark Inn Bed & Breakfast in Southport, North Caroilina. The completely restored historic Adkin’s Ruark home is one of the most beautiful homes in Southport. The home was just visited by more than 1200 people during the recent 2008 Christmas Parade of Homes here in Southport! You can view the home on our web site I’ll see if I can help find the answers to a few of the questions posted!

  15. If you’re still looking for “African Adventure” on DVD, I have come across a source:

    Go to the website, click on “Online Store” and you will find the film offered for $29.95 plus shipping. I have not purchased a copy and so cannot personally vouch for the quality; but at this point anything is probably better than nothing.

    I hope this helps.

  16. The DVD is available from at least two different sources – in the U.S. check Safari Press and through the internet check the website of Rowland Ward, the South African big game book and records organization. Both of them have it.

  17. For those of you wishing to experience ‘vintage’ Robert Ruark, the former home of the famous writer has been been turned into a bed and breakfast. The entire home has been redone with historical reference taken into account – Victorian furniture, etc. The food is phenomenal as well:)

  18. Information about Ned Adkins, “The Old Man”

    Birth: Jun. 20, 1860
    New Hanover County
    North Carolina, USA
    Death: Aug. 7, 1932
    New Hanover County
    North Carolina, USA

    Family links:
    Susan C Burriss Adkins (1825 – 1910)
    James Newton Adkins (1827 – 1884)

    Charlotte Morse Adkins Ruark (1893 – 1966)*
    Mae Hardison Adkins McKeithan (1895 – 1964)*

    Charlotte M Morse Adkins (1860 – 1928)

    Oakdale Cemetery
    New Hanover County
    North Carolina, USA
    Plot: Sec R Lot 42

    Created by: John Evans
    Record added: Feb 13, 2009
    Find A Grave Memorial# 33790732

  19. Are there any Photos of “The Old Man”? I have searched & searched, and can’t seem to find any. The Old Man and the Boy is my VERY FAVORITE Book of all time..My Husband and I read it EVERY Sept/Oct!

  20. I have some beautiful letters written by Robert Ruark to my aunt, Patti Gordon. Many of the letters discuss books he was working on. My aunt was his muse for,Honey Badger and he bounced many ideas off of Patti. This is also detailed in a letter to her. I have pictures and newspaper clippings about the two of them. I have a signed 1st edition Uhuru and pictures of him in Africa. Let me know if you are interested in seeing any of these things.

  21. Robert Ruark’s African Adventure

    This movie, made in 1954 and narrated by Robert Ruark himself, gives a picture of safari hunting in British East Africa (BEA) at the time of the Mau Mau Emergency. Ruark arrives in BEA via Cairo and Addis Ababa in an Ethiopian Airlines propeller plane. Noteworthy is the fact that a passenger departs the plane with a rifle in hand! There’s a lot to be said for a simpler time without terrorists and terrorism!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *