Stark Ritchie
No. 33     Michigan Wolverines
Date of birth: (1916-08-16)August 16, 1916
Date of death: April 4, 2001(2001-04-04) (aged 84)
Career information
Position(s): Halfback
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
College: Michigan
 As player:
1935–1937 Michigan

Cary Stark Ritchie (August 16, 1916 – April 4, 2001) was an American football player, attorney and lobbyist. raised in Battle Creek, Michigan, Ritchie played at the halfback position for the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1935 to 1937. He later became the general counsel of Halcon International in the 1960s and the American Petroleum Institute in the 1970s and 1980s.

Early yearsEdit

Ritchie was raised in Battle Creek, Michigan. At the time of the 1920 Census, he lived with his grandparents, Gavin Ritchie, who was an immigrant from Scotland, and Kate, who was an immigrant from Ireland. In 1930, he lived with an aunt in Battle Creek. He was the senior class president for Battle Creek High School's Class of 1934.[1]

University of MichiganEdit

File:Fielding Yost and Stark Ritchie 1936.jpg

Ritchie enrolled at the University of Michigan and played on the freshman football team in 1934. He played halfback for the Michigan Wolverines football team from 1935 to 1937. He suffered a leg injury at the start of the 1935 season that limited his playing time.[2][3]

Ritchie took over as the Wolverines' number one halfback during the 1936 season.[4][5] Michigan's only victory in the 1936 season was a 13–0 win over Columbia on October 24, 1936. Ritchie played an instrumental role in the win over Columbia, intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter and returning it for Michigan's second touchdown.[6]

As a senior, he scored both of Michigan's touchdowns, including a 41-yard run, in the final four minutes of a 13–12 victory over the University of Chicago on November 6, 1937.[7][8] The following week, Ritchie led Michigan to a 7–0 victory over Penn with a touchdown pass to Norm Purucker. The New York Times wrote: "Ritchie easily qualified as the individual star. He broke loose for a 54-yard sprint off tackle to the 9 in the first period and crossed the goal line on the next play, but instead of the touchdown the Wolverines drew a 15-yard penalty for holding."[9]

Ritchie received an A.B. degree from Michigan in 1938 and a J.D. degree from Michigan in 1941.[10][11] He was also the sophomore class president and a member of the Sphinx, the Druids, and the Psi Upsilon fraternity at Michigan.[12]

Later yearsEdit

Ritchie was a partner in the Chicago law firm of Norville, Walsh, Cass & Ritchie. He later became affiliated with Standard Oil Company [Indiana]. In 1966, he was hired as the general counsel, vice-president and secretary of Halcon International, a company engaged in research and development in the organic and petrochemical field.[13][14] From the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, Ritchie served as the general counsel of the American Petroleum Institute, the largest U.S trade association for the oil and natural gas industry.[10] He had met Gerald R. Ford while playing football at Michigan and was identified in the press as being part of the President's "inner circle" of friends.[15][16][17] Ritchie retired from the American Petroleum Institute position in 1986.


  1. Battle Creek High School yearbook for 1934, Class President's Address, page 18.
  2. "Michigan Halfback Hurt in Practice: Stark Ritchie Injures Right Leg; Out for 10 Days at Least". Ludington Daily News. September 13, 1935.,2838080&dq=stark-ritchie&hl=en.
  3. "1935 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library.
  4. "Kipke Names Ritchie". The Sun, Baltimore, Maryland: p. 16. October 31, 1936.
  5. "Ritchie on "M" Squad: Halfback Reports for Practice". The Windsor Daily Star. November 12, 1936.,1388277&dq=stark-ritchie&hl=en.
  6. Louis Effrat (October 25, 1936). "Aroused Michigan Eleven Conquers Columbia, 13-0: Sweet Speeds Around End for Touchdown in Second Period -- Ritchie Intercepts Pass and Goes Across in Last". The New York Times.
  7. "Ritchie's Brilliant 41-Yard Touchdown Run Gives Michigan Edge Over Chicago: Wolverines Come Through To Triumph in Last Setto". Youngstown Vindicator. November 7, 1937.,5542205&dq=stark-ritchie&hl=en.
  8. French Lane (November 7, 1937). "Wolverines Score in Closing Minutes; Beat Maroons, 13-12: Michigan Touchdowns in Late Minutes Beat Maroons, 13-12". Chicago Daily Tribune: p. B1.
  9. "Michigan Forward Conquers Penn, 7-0; Purucker Counts on Ritchie's Pass After 32-Yard Penalty Is Inflicted on Quakers". The New York Times. November 14, 1937.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Stark Ritchie (July 1974). "Those Integrated Oil Companies: Is a Breakup Desirable?". ABA Journal. pp. 826–830.
  11. "C. Stark Ritchie". University of Michigan Law School.
  12. 1938 Michiganensian, p. 65.
  13. "News from the Classes". The Michigan Alumnus, vols. 75-76. 1966. p. 28.
  14. "People and Events". Chicago Tribune: p. G3. May 8, 1966.
  15. "Walter Scott's Personality Parade". The Spokesman-Review. November 16, 1975.,472630&dq=ritchie+american-petroleum&hl=en.
  16. "Ford's Old Friends Include Big Corporate Lobbyists". The New York Times. August 19, 1974.
  17. "The New Lobbying". Anchorage Daily News (from The Christian Science Monitor). January 2, 1976.,53246&dq=ritchie+american-petroleum&hl=en.
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