S. Kip Farrington

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S. Kip Farrington, Jr.
Two men looking at each other and holding up a survival belt
Anglers S. Kip Farrington (left) and Mike Lerner (right) inspect US Navy survival gear in Miami
Selwyn Kip Farrington, Jr.

(1904-05-07)May 7, 1904
DiedFebruary 7, 1983(1983-02-07) (aged 78)
SpouseSara Houston Chisholm (1934–83)

Selwyn Kip Farrington, Jr. (May 7, 1904 – February 7, 1983) was an American writer and sport fisherman. As a journalist he did much to popularize big game fishing from the 1930s onward, and set a number of records himself. In addition to fishing, he was a noted rail enthusiast. Farrington wrote and published twenty-four books covering such diverse topics as fishing, railroading, and amateur hockey.


Farrington was born in Orange, New Jersey. His father was a stockbroker; Farrington joined the family firm at the age of 16 and seemed destined to follow in his father's footsteps until a move out to East Hampton on Long Island in the 1920s awakened an interest in big-game fishing.[1]

Farrington became a recognized figure in the sportfishing community. He served as fishing editor of Field & Stream from 1937 to 1972 and counted the American writer Ernest Hemingway, another avid fisherman, among his friends.[2] His largest catch came in 1952, when he caught a 1,135-pound (515 kg) Atlantic blue marlin off Cabo Blanco, a record for the time.[1][2] He was the first to catch a blue marlin off Bimini[3] and the second, after Hemingway, to catch an Atlantic bluefin tuna there.[2]

Farrington's other great love was rail transport. Over the course of his life Farrington rode trains in 39 countries, amassing thousands of miles.[1] Farrington wrote ten books on the railroad history, "with an emphasis...on what was new in railroading." The American historian John H. White Jr. called Farrington a "skilled writer."[4]

Farrington married Sara Houston Chisholm, who became an accomplished angler in her own right, in East Hampton in 1934. Farrington lived in East Hampton until his death in 1983.[1]

Selected works[edit]

  • Atlantic game fishing (1937)
  • Pacific game fishing (1942)
  • Bill, the broadbill swordfish (1942)
  • Railroading from the head end (1943)
  • Railroads at war (1944)
  • Giants of the rails (1944)
  • Interesting birds of our country (1945)
  • Ducks came back, the story of Ducks unlimited (1945)
  • Railroading from the rear end (1946)
  • Book of fishes (1946)
  • Ships of the U.S. Merchant Marine (1947)
  • Fishing the Atlantic, offshore and on (1949)
  • Sport fishing boats (1949)
  • Railroads of today (1949)
  • Railroading the modern way (1951)
  • Fishing the Pacific, offshore and on (1953)
  • Railroading around the world (1955)
  • Railroads of the hour (1958)
  • Fishing with Hemingway and Glassell (1971)
  • Skates, sticks, and men; the story of amateur hockey in the United States (1971)
  • Santa Fe's big three; the life story of a trio of the world's greatest locomotives (1972)
  • Trail of the Sharp Cup; the story of the fifth oldest trophy in international sports (1974)
  • Railroading coast to coast : riding the locomotive cabs, steam, electric and diesel, 1923-1950 (1976)
  • Labrador retriever, friend and worker (1976)


  1. ^ a b c d Thomas, Robert McG. (February 8, 1983). "S. Kip Farrington Jr. Is Dead; Was A Sportsman And Writer". The New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Rybovich, John (June 1983). "Remembering Kip". Boating.
  3. ^ Ulanski, Stan (2013). The Billfish Story: Swordfish, Sailfish, Marlin, and Other Gladiators of the Sea. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-8203-4633-5.
  4. ^ White, John H. (Spring–Summer 2006). "Writers Of The Rail: Famous Long Ago". Railroad History (194): 29.

External links[edit]