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Roy Hoopes, 87; journalist wrote acclaimed biography

Roy Hoopes contributed to and worked for many publications. His books included a biography of crime novelist James M. Cain.
Roy Hoopes contributed to and worked for many publications. His books included a biography of crime novelist James M. Cain. (Spencer Hoopes)
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After his book on Cain, Mr. Hoopes wrote a 1985 biography of pioneering journalist Ralph Ingersoll, who had key roles in the early development of the New Yorker, Time, Life and Fortune magazines.

In 1990, Mr. Hoopes and his brother David published "The Making of a Mormon Apostle: The Story of Rudger Clawson," about their grandfather, a significant figure in 19th-century Utah.

"Doing the book helped me understand my roots," he told The Post. "If anything it just confirmed my own beliefs. I believe in facts rather than faiths."

He tried his hand at fiction in 2000 with a novel, "Our Man in Washington," that brought together Cain, Mencken and other figures in 1920s Washington.

In 2001, Mr. Hoopes told the GWU alumni magazine that he worked mostly as a freelance writer since the mid-1970s. He kept his typewriter busy, he said, but he made more money buying and selling houses.

"Some years," he said, "I had the ultimate tax dodge -- no income."

His wife of 55 years, Cora Redd Hoopes, died in 2007.

Survivors include two sons, Spencer Hoopes of Bethesda and Tom Hoopes of Gaithersburg; a brother; a sister; and three grandchildren.


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