An All-Dixie quarterback at the University of Chattanooga, Bill Ratigan went on to become one of the most respected radio journalists in America and an author of Great Lakes-based fiction and nonfiction. He rose to the position of supervisor of the Far East listening post of NBC News during World War II, and later became managing editor of the company's Western News Division in Hollywood. Much of the news from the Pacific Theater that went out over the national airwaves was edited by him. When the fledgling United Nations held its formative conference in San Francisco, he was assigned duty as a scriptwriter, and had a front row view of the great statesmen of the time. His abilities caused Radio Life magazine to declare him "the best all-around radio newsman in the world."
After the war he returned with his family to his native state to fulfill a long dream of professional writing. They ended up in Charlevoix because realtor Earl Young was the only person who replied to his enquiries regarding rental availabilities with a view overlooking Lake Michigan.
Among his books are Soo Canal!, Highway Over Broad Waters, Young Mister Big, and The Adventures of Captain McCargo. Best known of all is Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals which has never been out of print. His children's books include the nonsense verse trilogy, The Adventures of Paul Bunyan & Babe, The Blue Snow, and Tiny Tim Pine.