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Ray Ohlsen Collection-Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park

Identifier: 2017-005

Scope and Contents

After hearing on the radio that his childhood friend Ernest Hemingway was in the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York, Ohlsen sent him a letter. The letter recalls a canoe trip they took to Starved Rock with Stuart "Toy" Ullman and includes a photograph.


  • undated

Biographical / Historical

Ray Ohlsen was a childhood friend of Ernest Hemingway. Ohlsen recalls that he and Hemingway first met at the Oak Park Public Library. They later would attend high school together at Oak Park River Forest High School. Both aspiring athletes, Ohlsen was on the high school soccer team the same time as Hemingway was on the football team. Ohlsen and Hemingway were members of several of the same clubs and activities, including the class play, Trapeze staff, Burke Club, and Hanna Club. During their senior year of high school, Ohlsen, Hemingway, and their friend Stuart “Toy” Ullmann took a trip down the Des Plaines River and Illinois River to Starved Rock. This trip is later recalled by Ohlsen in the letter he sent to Hemingway in 1961. Ohlsen and Hemingway both got jobs at the Kansas City Star after graduation, and roomed together. Ohlsen last saw Hemingway when the Italian delegation honored for his efforts as Red Cross ambulance driver at Hemingway’s parents' home. Ray Ohlsen died in 1987, at the age of 89.


1 Linear Feet

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Repository Details

Part of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park Archives Repository