Jim Tully’s Hollywood Walking Tour

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The son of an Irish ditch-digger, Jim Tully (1886-1947) left his hometown of St. Marys, Ohio, in 1901, spending most of his teenage years in the company of hoboes. While chasing his dream of becoming a writer, Tully rode the rails and worked as a chain maker, boxer, and newspaper reporter. All the while he was crafting his memories of the road into a dark and astonishing chronicle of the American underclass.

In 1912 Tully came to Hollywood, where he worked as a publicist for Charlie Chaplin. Honing his craft and quietly observing for more than a decade, Tully exploded onto the scene with a stream of critically-acclaimed books, mostly about his road years, including Beggars of Life (1924), Circus Parade (1927), Shanty Irish (1928), Shadows of Men (1930) and Blood on the Moon (1931). He quickly established himself as a major American author, and launched a parallel career as a Hollywood journalist. Both his novels and journalistic exposés shook the country and his peer group in Hollywood. Along the way, he picked up such close friends as W. C. Fields, Jack Dempsey, Damon Runyon, Lon Chaney, Frank Capra and Erich von Stroheim.

This walking tour will focus on the locations which were important to Jim Tully’s career in the motion picture industry, during the teens through the 1930s. The tour will be lead by Mark Dawidziak and Paul Bauer, who are Jim Tully’s biographers and who will be presenting at the LAVA literary Salon at Musso & Frank Grill the following nightSites on the tour include: