Howard Joseph Ruff was a financial advisor and bestselling author. He founded one of the largest financial newsletters, The Ruff Times; had his own syndicated TV show, "Ruff Hou$e"; and was the New York Times bestselling author of How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years. In 2008 he updated and re-released the volume as How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years in the 21st Century. He predicted the rise of inflation in the mid-70s and early 80s. He is famous for saying, “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” He authored other books on financial and political issues (his first, Famine and Survival in America) and was a guest on numerous television and radio shows. Included in his financial advise to his readers and listeners was encouragement to store a year’s supply of food.
Ruff was born on December 27, 1930, in Berkeley, California. His childhood was difficult; his father passed away tragically when he was four months old and his mother supported him and his brother as a seamstress. He served as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he was a lifelong member. He studied at Brigham Young University where he majored in music and minored in economics.
Ruff co-founded an influential political organization “Free the Eagle,” promoting free market policies and candidates. Through “Free the Eagle” he helped convince United States President Ronald Reagan to get Stinger missiles to the Afghan freedom fighters. This led to the eventual withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan, which some say contributed to the fall of the iron curtain.
Aside from his success in the financial and political world, he was a musician who toured the world during the 1950s as both a soloist and announcer with the Air Force band and Singing Sergeants. He later soloed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony, and the Ed Sullivan Show. He also recorded an album in the 1980s. He contributed to Utah Lyric Opera in Utah and directed, conducted, or starred in many shows.
Among his list of accomplishments in his life, he included: “I broke up an orphanage run by American pedophiles in Bangkok, which resulted in jailing them and caused an international incident between ABC, me and the Thai government. I set up my own orphanage in Bangkok to take care of the children.”
He was also known for his humor, and once said, “Whenever I think I’ve accomplished a lot, I just remind myself that when Mozart was my age—he’d been dead for 35 years.”
Ruff passed away on November 12, 2016. He and his wife, Kay, were the parents of fourteen children, five of which were adopted.