Robert Ripley was born and raised in Santa Rosa. Encouraged by his high school art teacher, Ripley refined his artistic talent and went to work for the SF Chronicle drawing sports cartoons, and odd facts about sports figures. Later he became known for his cartoon narratives of things in other countries (esp India) that were difficult for Americans to believe.
Many say that Robert Ripley never claimed anything he wrote was true and left it to the reader to decide but actually Robert Ripley stated that he COULD prove everything he published, and in fact, worked very closely with a fact checker to ensure its accuracy.
Robert Ripley is buried in Santa Rosa next to his parents in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.