Ray Harroun was born on January 12, 1878 in Spartansburg to Russell Harroun and his wife. Russell had come to Spartansburg a few years prior to establish a bowl factory. Later, having closed the factory, Russell became Postmaster in town.
Ray lived in Spartansburg until he was about 15. He attended the US Naval Academy and fought in the Spanish American War. When he was discharged from service, he went to Akron where Russell and family had moved. There, he studied dentistry, but his passion was always working with mechanical things.
Several articles are available about Ray Harroun and some are shared at the end of this post.
Harroun is best known for his 1911 win at the 1st Indianapolis 500 Race.