How do you have a conversation that involves historically significant murders, Stan Lee telling convention promoters to back off, Jonathan Silverman’s father, and Taylor Swift? You invite Danny Fingeroth to talk about his latest biography. That’s how!
Danny Fingeroth started working in comics back in the days when superheroes were pretty much the only game in town and he built a career of delivering high quality comics through his writing and editing. He is well remembered for creating the fan-favorite character Darkhawk and a long run writing Dazzler as well has his excellent work editing books like Spectacular Spider-Man, The New Warriors, and more. In recent years, he has produced some excellent books about comics and comics history including A Marvelous Life, The Amazing Story of Stan Lee, the acclaimed biography of Stan Lee.
Jack Ruby: The Many Faces of Oswald’s Assassin is the newest book from Danny Fingeroth and will be released on November 21, 2023. The book explores one of the central figures to a touchstone event in the lives of an entire generation. We spoke with Danny about his motivation for writing such a book and what he discovered in through his writing process. We also managed to squeeze in a word or two about his career in comics and as a prose writer.
The entire interview is on our YouTube channel and streamable below:
The solicitation for the Jack Ruby is below and the book is available for preorder now on Amazon:
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.