Clements Ripley

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Clements Ripley (August 26, 1892 – July 22, 1954) was an American fiction writer and screenwriter.

Early life[edit]

Ripley was born on August 26, 1892, in Tacoma, Washington. He was the son of Thomas E. Ripley, and the grandson of American Civil War officer William Y. W. Ripley, who received the Medal of Honor for heroism at the Battle of Malvern Hill. Clements Ripley attended the Taft School and graduated from Yale University in 1916.[1] At Yale, he was an editor of the campus humor magazine The Yale Record with James Ashmore Creelman, writer of King Kong and The Most Dangerous Game.[2]

Military service[edit]

Ripley joined the United States Army during World War I. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 14th Field Artillery Regiment. He served until 1920, rising to the rank of captain.[3][4]

Writing career[edit]

While stationed in South Carolina in 1919, Ripley met and married Katherine (Kattie) Ball, the daughter of noted journalist W. W. Ball. They lived in North Carolina and grew peaches until 1927, when they moved to Charleston, South Carolina to become writers. (Katherine Ball later wrote about this experience in 1931's Sand in My Shoes.)[5]

Clements Ripley wrote seven novels, three of which were made into movies, as well as several screenplays. He also wrote numerous short stories and serials, some of which were published in popular magazines, including Cosmopolitan and the Saturday Evening Post.[6][7]

Death and burial[edit]

He died in Charleston July 22, 1954.[8] He was memorialized in his family's plot at Evergreen Cemetery in Rutland, Vermont, and was buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston.[9]


Clements Ripley and Katherine Ball were the parents of William Y. W. Ripley (1921-2013), a notable South Carolina journalist and historian.[10]




Short stories[edit]

  • "For Ways That Are Dark", Argosy All-Story Weekly, Apr 2 1921
  • "Mr. Hartman Finesses a Queen", Breezy Stories, Jan 1923
  • "Ain't That Our Luck", Adventure, Dec 20 1923
  • "The Unkeyed Letter", Top-Notch, Jul 1 1925
  • "Gun Cargo", The Frontier, Sep 1926
  • "Bucko", Frontier Stories, Nov 1927
  • "Cities of Fear", Everybody's Magazine, Jan 1928
  • "The Man for the Job", Everybody’s Magazine, Dec 1928
  • "Hard Old Man", The American Magazine, Jun 1931
  • "Good-Will Tour", Cosmopolitan, Oct 1932
  • "The Socking of Cicero", Cosmopolitan, Oct 1933
  • "Bank Holdup", Cosmopolitan, Jan 1934
  • "A Lady Comes to Town", Cosmopolitan, Jun 1934
  • "Patriot", Cosmopolitan, Jul 1935
  • "Tenth Commandment", Cosmopolitan, Nov 1935
  • "The Cute Little Trick", Redbook, Dec 1937
  • "The Knife Look", Cosmopolitan, May 1939
  • "Once an Artilleryman—", The Saturday Evening Post, Aug 24 1940
  • "Each in His Turn", The Saturday Evening Post, Jun 7 1941
  • "Roaring Guns", which was made into the 1944 short film of the same name
  • "Soldier's Honor", The Saturday Evening Post, Nov 22 1947
  • "Hidden Valley", The American Magazine, Feb 1950
  • "The Day the Circus Came", The Saturday Evening Post, Oct 6 1951
  • "The Magic Afternoon", The Saturday Evening Post, Dec 27 1952
  • "A Christmas Tale", The Saturday Evening Post, Dec 19 1953
  • "Nor'wester", which was made into the 1959 film John Paul Jones starring Robert Stack


  1. ^ A.N. Marquis Co., Who's Who on the Pacific Coast, 1949, page 780
  2. ^ Yale Banner and Pot Pourri. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1926. p. 238.
  3. ^ U.S. Army Adjutant General, U.S. Army Register, 1922, page 1423
  4. ^ Army and Navy Register, Assignments of Officers, Volume 62, September 29, 1917
  5. ^ University of South Carolina, Clements and Katharine Ball Ripley Papers, 1909-1996, retrieved February 14, 2014
  6. ^ John Howard Reid, Best Western Movies, 2006, page 54
  7. ^ Alan Gevinson, Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960, 1997, page 531
  8. ^ Associated Press, Rocky Mount (N.C.) Evening telegram, Novelist Stricken in South Carolina, July 23, 1954
  9. ^ South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1960, Death Certificate for Clements Ripley, retrieved February 14, 2014
  10. ^ Charleston Post and Courier, Retired Newspaper Editor Ripley Dies at 92, September 7, 2013
  11. ^ "Jezebel Cast and Details". Radnor, PA, USA: TV Guide. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 

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