The scratch of a pen, believe it or not, brought worldwide recognition to cartoonist Robert LeRoy Ripley.
Ripley began his career at the age of 16 on the art staff of the San Francisco Bulletin. He later worked for the New York Globe, and really began to spark when he drew a cartoon of the man who walked across the continent backwards and other oddities he found.
That cartoon drew considerable comment, much to Ripley's amazement. It eventually became a daily feature, read by 80 million people in more than 300 newspapers in 38 countries and 17 languages. "Believe It or Not" television and radio programs also emerged.
Because of his contributions in the area of trivia and reference, Ripley was named the first member of the National Trivia Hall of Fame.
"Ripley probably contributed more to the widespread interest in trivia, odd and unusual than any person, past or present," said Steve Tamerius, editor of Trivia Unlimited magazine.