Browne Popular Culture Library
PCL MS-33: William F. Ringle Collection
William Frank Ringle (1933-1984) was born June 17, 1933, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and later moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona. In 1951 he entered the University of Oklahoma where he studied geological engineering. From 1952 to 1957 he was employed by various mining companies in the southwest United States. In 1957 he returned to the University of Oklahoma; however, due to health reasons and divorce proceedings, he was unable to complete his degree.
In 1958 Ringle was inducted into the military. He was released from active duty in 1960 and began attending classes at Arizona State University in 1962. In 1963 he received his B.A. degree and immediately began courses for his M.A. degree in anthropology at Arizona State University. He spent some time in Northern Mexico where he was field foreman for a sponsored research project in the areas of human social behavior and applied anthropology.
In the fall of 1964 Ringle entered the doctoral degree program in anthropology at the University of Illinois where he taught from 1964 to 1968. During this time his interests as a self-proclaimed "hipanthropologist" turned towards the emerging counterculture and drug scene, and student protest movement. In the fall of 1968 Ringle accepted a position at Iowa State University where he taught anthropology classes until 1975.
Ringle never completed his Ph.D., which was cause for his dismissal from Iowa State University in 1975. After leaving the university, he began working for the Chicago Northwestern Railway as a brakeman and conductor. In 1975 he established the Bluff Creek Theoretical Institute, a "small, subsistence commune of working scholars and artists", at Boone, Iowa where he lived until his death in February, 1984.
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