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Irving H. “Larry” Larom (1889 – 1973) was the first president of the Dude Ranchers Association and an owner of the Valley Ranch.

Larry Larom was born to a wealthy family in New York City in 1889. His father was a prominent businessman, and it was likely that Larry would follow in his father’s footsteps until the young man attended Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in Madison Square Garden in New York in 1909. This experience inspired Larom to travel to Cody, Wyoming, the following year for a summer vacation on Jim McLaughlin’s Valley Home Ranch on the South Fork of the Shoshone River. After three more summer visits there, he decided to become a dude rancher. He persuaded a fellow New Yorker, Winthrop Brooks, to become his partner in the purchase and operation of Valley Ranch. Larom and Brooks, scions of wealthy New York families and educated at Princeton University, had an advantage in selling the concept of a dude ranch vacation to members of their social class. In a few years Brooks left the partnership and later became President at the Brooks Brothers men's clothier from 1935 to 1946. In 1920 Larom began sponsoring pack trip parties for boys and girls into Yellowstone, and in 1922 he established a college prep school for boys that was successful until 1934 when the effects of the Great Depression forced its closure.[1] Under Larom’s guidance Valley Ranch grew to be one of the largest, most successful dude ranches in the West. In 1926 Larom was instrumental in starting the Dude Ranchers Association and became the organizations first president. Larom also found time in his busy career to become actively involved in the civil and cultural affairs of Cody, Wyoming. He died in December 1973 in Cody.

References

  1. ^ Kensel, W. Hudson. Presentation. “The Valley Ranch and Irving H. “Larry” Larom: A History of Dude Ranching on the South Fork of the Shoshone River.” Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Cody, Wyoming. October 16, 2006.

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