Ring Lardner, Jr.
Writing Lardners

Writing Lardners
four generations of a family business

Updated 31 January 2006

generation -1 | generation 1 | generation 2 | generation 3



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Generation minus one

 Lena Lardner
(mother of Ring)
  Ring Lardner's mother, Lena, was undoubtedly his earliest literary influence.  An avid reader and writer, she encouraged her children to follow in her footsteps.  She submitted poems to the Chicago papers and published two volumes of her sentimental poetry,  Sparks from the Yule Log and A Sprig of Western Pine, the latter dedicated to President Theodore Roosevelt.  . 



Generation One

Harry Lardner

(brother of Ring)
  Harry, who stayed in Niles, Michigan, and spent most of his adult life as a postman (32 years before retiring), became something of the local poet, composing poems as tributes to local heroes or commemorating important events.  He wrote at times under the pen name Ben Joyce.  His poem celebrating Fort Saint Joseph was read at the opening of the Four Flags Hotel in Niles and printed in volumes of local history. 


Rex Lardner
(brother of Ring)
  The first professional writer in the Lardner family.  According to legend, a man from the South Bend paper came to hire Rex (a stringer for other papers), and ended up hiring Ring because Rex was out of town.  Rex followed Ring to Chicago and to the Sporting News, working as a journalist his entire life.     

Generation Two

John Lardner

(son of Ring)
  John Lardner was a successful sports writer and journalist who, like his father, died young.  He is still often quoted in sports circles.  His books include:  Southwest Passage:  The Yanks in the Pacific, It Beats WorkingStrong Cigars and Lovely Women, and The World of John Lardner.


James Lardner

(son of Ring)
  James Lardner joined the "family business" at an early age, but left journalism when he decided his actions could speak louder than his words.  After his articles about the Spanish Civil War did not have the expected impact, Lardner joined the Lincoln Brigade, the Americans fighting for the democratically elected government of Spain.  He was the last American killed in the conflict. 


Ring Lardner, Jr.
(son of Ring)
  Best known as a screenwriter (the two Academy Awards may have something to do with that), Ring Jr. is also the author of two novels, two memoirs, and a number of non-fiction pieces.  A fuller accounting of his life and output may be found on the Ring Lardner, Jr. page on this site.


David Lardner

(son of Ring)
  The youngest of the Lardner boys was also a promising journalist, working for newspapers and writing for The New Yorker by the age of 20.  He died while covering World War II. 


Richard Tobin
(nephew of Ring)
  A writer and academic, Tobin wrote one of the best pieces I've read about his uncle, but is better known for the books Invasion Journal and Tobin's English Usage. 


George Lardner

(nephew of Ring)
  A staffer at the Michigan Daily, and later a New York feature writer for the Bell Syndicate.  
Rex Lardner, Jr.

(nephew of Ring, son of Rex)
  Rex, son of Rex was a World War II veteran, a journalist for many national publications, and chief writer for Ernie Kovacs on various television shows. Rex also wrote 15 books, the most notable of which are The Lardner Report, Out of the bunker and Into the Trees, Downhill Lies and Other Falsehoods, and Ali.  An annual tennis tournament is named in his honor.    

Generation Three

Ann Lardner Waswo
(Grand-daughter of Ring; Ring, Jr.'s daughter)
  Ann Lardner Waswo is currently at Oxford University and the author of several academic volumes, including the following:   Modern Japanese Society, 1868-1994 (1996), The Soil : A Portrait of Rural Life in Meiji Japan (Voices from Asia, No 8) (1994),  Japanese Landlords : The Decline of a Rural Elite (1997), and Farmers and Village Life in 20th Century Japan (2002).   


George Lardner, Jr. (grand-nephew of Ring, son of George Lardner)   George Lardner, Jr., a journalist known to many in the intelligence community and in the JFK assassination community, won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Stalking of Kristin: A Father Investigates the Murder of His Daughter.  The book raised national awareness of the dangers of stalking and led to much needed legislation.


Kate Lardner
(grand-daughter of Ring)
  Kate has recently published a memoir, Shut Up He Explained:  A Memoir of Growing Up on the Blacklist.  The book is featured in the Lardnermania Bookstore.


James Lardner
(grandson of Ring;  son of Ring, Jr.)


  Besides being the founder of Inequality.org, James is a noteworthy journalist and author of many books, including NYPD:  A City and its Police, Inequality Matters (editor), Crusader, and Fast Forward: Hollywood, the Japanese and the VCR Wars.  His books are available in the Lardnermania Bookstore.
Lonnie Lardner
(grand niece of Ring, daughter of Rex, Jr.)
  Lonnie Lardner, daughter of Rex and granddaughter of Rex, grand-niece of Ring, Sr., is a sports reporter for Fox TV.


Peter Lardner
(grandson of Ring, son of Ring, Jr.)
  Dr. Peter Lardner is the retired chairman of the natural sciences department at Flagler College and a distinguished saver of turtles.  He supplied some of the information (that which is accurate) for this page. 


Susan Lardner
(granddaughter of Ring, daughter of John)
  John Lardner's eldest daughter, Susan is a writer for The Nation, The New Yorker, among other publications.   

Generation Four

Richard Lardner
(great-grand-nephew of Ring, son of George, Jr.)
  Richard has written for many publications and is currently the military affairs reporter for The Tampa Tribune.    

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