Jack Ruby

Jack Ruby
Jack Ruby

Jack Ruby

The Many Faces of Oswald's Assassin
By Danny Fingeroth


352 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, PDF, EPUB, Trade Paper

Cloth, $30.00 (US $30.00) (CA $40.00)

ISBN 9781641609128

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Nov 2023)


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Jack Ruby changed history with one bold, violent action: killing accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV two days after the November 22, 1963, murder of President John F. Kennedy. But who was Jack Ruby—and how did he come to be in that spot on that day?
As we approach the sixtieth anniversaries of the murders of Kennedy and Oswald, Jack Ruby’s motives are as maddeningly ambiguous today as they were the day that he pulled the trigger.
The fascinating yet frustrating thing about Ruby is that there is evidence to paint him as at least two different people. Much of his life story points to him as bumbling, vain, violent, and neurotic; a product of the grinding poverty of Chicago’s Jewish ghetto; a man barely able to make a living or sustain a relationship with anyone besides his dogs. 
By the same token, evidence exists of Jack Ruby as cagey and competent, perhaps not a mastermind, but a useful pawn of the Mob and of both the police and the FBI; someone capable of running numerous legal, illegal, and semi-legal enterprises, including smuggling arms and vehicles to both sides in the Cuban revolution; someone capable of acting as middleman in bribery schemes to have imprisoned Mob figures set free. 
Cultural historian Danny Fingeroth's research includes a new, in-depth interview with Rabbi Hillel Silverman, the legendary Dallas clergyman who visited Ruby regularly in prison and who was witness to Ruby’s descent into madness. Fingeroth also conducted interviews with Ruby family members and associates. The book’s findings will catapult you into a trip through a house of historical mirrors.
At its end, perhaps Jack Ruby’s assault on history will begin to make sense. And perhaps we will understand how Oswald’s assassin led us to the world we live in today.


“As a conspiracy buff, I leapt into Danny Fingeroth’s Jack Ruby with gusto, only to realize how little I actually knew about Jacob Rubenstein aka Jack Ruby. Nightclub owner? Yes. Landsman? Proudly. Mobster? Maybe. Insane? You have to read the book. Fingeroth takes you beat by beat through that fateful weekend and Ruby’s array of co-stars: strippers, club owners, policemen. He paints a disturbing portrait of a manic Ruby desperate to be in the center of the action, who just wanted to be important.” —David Mandel, showrunner Veep and director White House Plumbers

“Sixty years after the events that changed the world comes this important biography, a gripping, deeply researched investigation into a crucial thread of pivotal history. Danny Fingeroth digs into a neglected figure with precision and flair.” —Lisa Napoli, author of Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News

“It’s likely that no book will ever answer whether Jack Ruby was a lone gunman or part of some vast conspiracy. But cultural sleuth Danny Fingeroth’s fascinating biography offers something more revealing—showing us how this irony-laden icon offers a lens into America’s low-level underworld, its multi-tiered Jewish community, and a Baby-Boom generation robbed of its hero-worshiped president.” —Larry Tye, author of Bobby Kennedy and Demagogue

“Danny Fingeroth’s book does what few books on the JFK assassinations have even attempted by painting a humanized depiction of the many complex layers of Jack Ruby, the killer of the one of the most notorious presidential suspected assassins.” —Mark S. Zaid, Esq., JFK assassination historian 

“With this book, Danny Fingeroth takes us down into the depths of one of the biggest mysteries in the history of modern American politics, and pulls back the curtain—as much as anyone can—on one of the story’s most mysterious figures. Why did Jack Ruby do what he did? Well, that’s the story—and Fingeroth brilliantly takes us through a dazzling array of twists, turns, and possible motivations in telling it, in all its labyrinthine complexity.” —Jeremy Dauber, author of Mel Brooks: Disobedient Jew

“A miraculous achievement. Danny Fingeroth has transformed Jack Ruby’s legacy from a ten-second film clip into to a three-dimensional portrait of a warm-blooded human being. If you don’t read this book, you don’t know Jack.” —Michael Benson, author of Gangsters vs. Nazis and Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination

Author Biography

Danny Fingeroth is a biographer and cultural historian/commentator, specializing in the intersection of Jewish and American cultures. He’s the author of Superman on the Couch and Disguised as Clark Kent. His acclaimed 2019 biography of Stan Lee, A Marvelous Life, is a laser-sharp look at this innovative figure—the inventor of Marvel Comics. Fingeroth has spoken at venues including the Smithsonian Institution and Columbia University, as well as on NBC’s Today Show and NPR’s All Things Considered. He has written commentaries for publications including The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. Danny was born, raised, and lives in New York City.