Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 - January 24, 1986), better known as L. Ron Hubbard is the prolific American author and founder of Scientology teaching, and its principal researcher and author. He also was a founder of the controversial Church of Scientology.
Along with the Scientological and self-help books, he wrote fiction in several genres, business management texts, essays, and poetry.
An often controversial subject, Hubbard's life story is widely disputed; two very differing versions of his biography are given by the Church of Scientology and critics of Scientology. Official church documents portray Hubbard as a "friend to mankind", while those of critics portray him as a fraud and liar.
L. Ron Hubbard was born in 1911 in Tilden, Nebraska, to Harry Ross Hubbard (1886-1975) and Ledora May Waterbury (18xx-1954(?)), whom Harry had married in 1909.
Harry joined the United States Navy in 1904, leaving the service in 1908, then reenlisting in 1917 when the US declared war on Germany. He served in the Navy until 1946, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1934.
May was a feminist who had trained to become a high school teacher. Her father, Lafayette O. Waterbury (born 1864), was a veterinarian turned coal merchant. Her mother, Ida Corinne DeWolfe, was the daughter of affluent banker John DeWolfe. May's paternal grandfather Abram Waterbury was from the Catskill Mountains of New York and later headed West, employed as a veterinarian.