Did Babe Ruth Set His Wife On Fire? Helen Ruth Death Mystery

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George Herman Ruth, called Babe Ruth, was a professional American baseball player. People who love the sport consider him the undisputed greatest baseball player of all time and one of the biggest sports heroes in America.

Despite all his fame, one thing that continues to affect his legacy is the mystery surrounding his first wife’s death.

His wife, Helen, died young in a housefire in Watertown, Massachusetts. While many agree the unfortunate event was an accident, some still believe Babe had something to do with it.

Babe played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for three clubs in twenty-two seasons, beginning in 1914. He was the Boston Red Sox’s left-handed pitcher when he started his professional career.

Babe Ruth Playing For The New York Yankees (Source: Baseball Hall of Fame)
Babe Ruth Playing For The New York Yankees (Source: Baseball Hall of Fame)

However, it was after Ruth’s transfer to the New York Yankees that he started gaining prominence. Performing consistently excellent for the Yankees, he was the most feared slugging outfielder in the league in the twenties and thirties.

In his career spanning over twenty years, Ruth became the World Series champion seven times, three times with the Sox and four times with the Yankees. The Yankees retired jersey number 3 in his honor on June 13, 1948.

Helen Ruth Death Mystery: Did He Set Her On Fire?

Helen Ruth died in a housefire on January 11, 1929, in Watertown, Massachusetts. At that time, she lived at Edward Kinder’s house, a dentist she had known since childhood.

Although she had not been legally divorced from Ruth, Helen started living with Edward in 1927.  

She was alone in the house at the time of the incident. Her daughter, Dorothy, was at a Catholic Boarding School, and Edward had gone to watch a boxing match at Boston Garden.

Babe Ruth With Helen In 1914 (Source: Baltimore Suns)
Babe Ruth With Helen In 1914 (Source: Baltimore Suns)

It was later speculated that Helen had slept after taking sleeping pills before the house caught fire. Unfortunately, it was already late by the time the neighbors knew, and he succumbed to death because of suffocation.

However, Helen’s family did not believe the narrative and took the matter to the police, claiming Ruth and Edward Kinder as suspects.

Helen’s sister, Nora, said that the incident happened just some months after she and Helen met Ruth for divorce talks which ended abruptly.

Helen had demanded $100,000 in settlement money, which Babe refused, and left the room without saying anything.

Aside from that, the deceased’s family also demanded an investigation regarding whether Edward had drugged her and set the house on fire afterward.

After the second autopsy result, the authorities confirmed that her death was caused due to suffocation by fire. Babe attended the service and burial at her mom’s home on January 17.

However, Edward Kinder showed up in neither of the events.

Babe Ruth Married Helen When He Was Nineteen

Babe Ruth married Helen Woodford while both were still in their teens. Ruth had started his career as a pitcher for the Red Sox and often frequented a luncheonette nearby his room for meals.

Helen was a waitress there, and the two fell in love. Eventually, the two married on October 17, 1914, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Ellicott City, Maryland. Helen was just sixteen, and Babe was nineteen at the time.

Babe Ruth And Helen With Their Daughter Dorothy (Source: Reddit)
Babe Ruth And Helen With Their Daughter, Dorothy (Source: Reddit)

Babe and Helen had a daughter named Dorothy.

Although they initially told everyone that Dorothy was their daughter, it was later discovered that she was Babe’s daughter from his relationship with Juanita Jennings.

Ruth married actress and model Claire Hodgson after Helen’s death on April 17, 1929. 

Yaman Bhattarai
Yaman Bhattaraihttps://playersbio.com/

Yaman Bhattarai

Yaman Bhattarai is a dedicated writer with a keen interest in exploring the multifaceted world of sports. His articles offer readers a dynamic blend of insightful analysis, captivating storytelling, and cultural commentary that enriches their understanding of the athletes, events, and trends that shape the sporting landscape.


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  • Yaman delves into the rich tapestry of sports history, uncovering iconic moments, legendary athletes, and transformative events.
  • He examines the business side of sports, exploring topics such as sponsorship deals.


With a background in writing and a passion for sports as a cultural phenomenon, Yaman approaches each article with a blend of curiosity, rigor, and creativity. He seeks to inspire, educate, and entertain readers through his exploration of the timeless themes and enduring legacies that define the world of sports.

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