Charles Ritz

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Charles Ritz (left) with Ernest Hemingway on receiving a prize from the Fario Club

Charles C. Ritz (August 1, 1891 – July 11, 1976) was a French hotelier and fly fishing specialist.


Charles Ritz was the first of two sons[1] born to Swiss hotelier César Ritz (born 1850) and Marie-Louise Beck (born 1867, whose family also owned and ran a hotel in Menton).[2]

He did not know his itinerant father well, and César died when Charles was 27 years old.

Charles Ritz emigrated to the United States in 1916 where he became a soldier in the US Army. When World War I ended, Ritz returned to the US, and soon spent considerable time mastering the art of fly-fishing in the American West. He married Elisabeth Pierce.

Ritz remarried in 1971 and retired from the hotel presidency in 1976, three months before his death.

He is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery alongside his first wife.


Ritz returned to France in the 1930s. His experience with fly fishing made him one of the foremost specialists on the subject. Ernest Hemingway called him, "One of the finest fly fisherman I know".[3] Ritz wrote a book, A Fly Fisher's Life, which has been read by anglers around the world.[4] It has been regarded as one of the landmarks of fly fishing literature.[3] He invented the parabolic fly-rod, a term coined by Everett Garrison, a famous bamboo fly rod maker. Fly rods of this type were commercially produced by Paul H. Young, Abu Garcia, Pezon et Michel, Jim Payne and Paul H. Young among others. He was a publicist for the High speed - high line style of fly casting (HSHL). He founded the "Fario Club",[5] which was the most select fishing club in the world during the later part of the twentieth century.[6]

Charles Ritz spent several years assisting his mother managing the Ritz Hotel, and assumed presidency of the empire in 1953, when his mother Marie-Louise retired. Marie-Louise returned to her husband's village (Niederwald) during the summer and set up the Ritz Foundation specifically for Niederwald's youth. The foundation pays for scholarships and apprenticeship programs. Marie-Louis passed away in 1961.[7] He attempted to introduce his progressive ideas when he opened le bar Vendôme and the l'Espadon restaurant but found himself hampered by the board of directors. His father died in 1918.


  1. ^ Charles, born 1891, and René (1896-1918), who chose not to continue in the family hotel business
  2. ^ "Marie-Louise Ritz". Archived from the original on 2012-09-23. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  3. ^ a b Ritz, Charles (1972). A Fly Fisher's: Revised and Enlarged Edition. New York, New York: Crown Publishers, Inc..
  4. ^ Schwiebert, Ernest (1984). Trout. New York, New York: E.P. Dutton.
  5. ^ "Official website of the International Fario Club". 2005-09-18. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  6. ^ "Fario.Ev". Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  7. ^ "Official site of Ritz Hotel in Paris". Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  • A fly fisher's life, Charles C. Ritz - Crown Publishers - Rev. and enl. ed edition (1973) generally agreed to be one of the best books on fly fishing skills ever written.
  • Ritz, une histoire plus belle que la légende - Claude Roulet - Editions Quai Voltaire (1998)
  • César Ritz, Paris: Hôtel Ritz (1938) - a biography of César Ritz written by his wife, Marie-Louise Beck