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  » Appendix XIV
  » Appendix XV
  » Appendix XVI
  » Appendix XVII
  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 785« Previous | Next »

(APPENDIX XVI - A Biography of Jack Ruby)

on Chicago streets attempting to provide for himself and other members of his family. An avid sports fan, he, together with many of his friends, "scalped" tickets to various sporting events.94 He also sold numerous novelty items and knickknacks, particularly those connected with professional and collegiate athletics. Even in his youth, Ruby declined to work on a steady basis for someone else.95

According to his brother Hyman, Jack Ruby's only legal difficulty as a youth resulted from an altercation with a policeman about ticket scalping. Hyman, then active in local politics, was able to have charges arising out of the incident dropped.96 Ruby has indicated that during the depression he served a short jail sentence for the unauthorized sale of copyrighted sheet music.97

The only other member of the Rubenstein family who appears to have had any difficulty with the law while a youth was Hyman. On May 1, 1916, Chicago's juvenile court declared Hyman incorrigible, a term covering a wide range of misbehavior. Because of the absence of informative court. records and the ]apse of time, the misconduct that occasioned this proceeding could not be ascertained, but Hyman is not known to have encountered subsequent difficulty.98 Some of Ruby's childhood friends eventually became criminals; 99 however, Hyman Rubenstein, his sister Mrs. Eva Grant, and virtually all of Ruby's friends and acquaintances who were questioned reported that he was not involved with Chicago's criminal element.100

The evidence indicates that young Jack was not interested in political affairs.101 Hyman was the only Rubenstein to participate actively in politics. Sponsored by various political officials, he became a sidewalk inspector and warehouse investigator for 8 years. On one occasion, he obtained a permit for Jack to sell novelties from a pushcart located in a business district during the pre-Christmas buying rush. Eventually the complaints of enraged businessmen led licensing authorities to declare that a mistake had been made and to revoke Ruby's permit.102


The evidence reveals striking differences of opinion among childhood friends and acquaintances of Jack Ruby about whether he possessed violent tendencies. Many persons stated that he was mild mannered, quiet, and even tempered.103 Former welterweight champion Barney Ross, whom Jack Ruby idolized from the inception of his boxing career,104 stated that Ruby was "well behaved," was never a troublemaker, and was never involved with law-enforcement agencies.105 Another friend, who became a successful businessman on the west coast, said that, as a youth, Ruby never started fights even though he was adept with his fists.106 Other friends declared that he would, if at all possible, avoid clashes.107

But many other friends and acquaintances recalled that he had a hot temper and was quickly moved to violent acts or words.108 One friend explained that in the "tough" Chicago neighborhood where they lived, self-defense was vitally important and added that Ruby

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