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Vandersnick, Ralph, 1927-


Ralph Vandersnick was born March 16, 1927 in Annawan, Illinois, a small town that was 150 miles from Chicago, Illinois. His mother died when he was five, and his family moved to Atkinson, Illinois in 1934. He grew up in the Great Depression and was drafted into World War II when he was 17, missing high school graduation by a year.

After Vandersnick got out of the military, he moved to Santa Monica, California and worked as a shipping clerk for seven years before meeting the owner of the gay bar, Haps, and taking his position after the owner got sick. Vandersnick bought a bar called the Studio Club and “turned it gay,” in his words. He moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1976, started another gay bar called Snick’s Place and ran it for more than 20 years.