Since 1905

A Tribute to the Legacy of Ron Rice, Founder of Hawaiian Tropic

hawaiian tropic ball

Mr. Rice, who passed away in 2022, was a self-made businessman whose indomitable spirit was only rivaled by the sizzling success of his brand. A proud University of Tennessee graduate and a former schoolteacher, Mr. Rice launched Hawaiian Tropic in 1969 with a mere $500 investment. His vision and marketing savvy transformed his garage start-up into a sun care empire that brought the laid-back, sun-drenched beach lifestyle to the doorsteps of people worldwide.

A Deeper Look at Ron Rice’s Journey

The story of Ron Rice is an inspiring tale that resonates with many aspiring entrepreneurs. A Knoxville native, Rice graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in education before briefly working as a teacher in Miami. However, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to venture into the world of suntan oils.

His big break came when he realized that suntan oil was either too greasy or too dry at that time. Combining his understanding of chemistry and his innate business acumen, Rice created a suntan oil that was just right. This began Hawaiian Tropic, which started with just $500 and a dream.

The brand grew rapidly, capitalizing on the popular beach culture of the time. Rice’s marketing brilliance shone through Hawaiian Tropic’s famous pageants, celebrity endorsements, and participation in films like “Apocalypse Now.” The company became synonymous with the sun, beach, and a relaxed lifestyle within years.

Hawaiian Tropic

The garage start-up eventually sold for a staggering $83 million in 2007, marking the culmination of Rice’s incredible entrepreneurial journey.

Dunn’s Attic is the official auction house for the estate of Ron Rice, and we are thrilled to handle this iconic estate.

A Piece of History for Every Budget

The online auctions of Mr. Rice’s estate promise an exceptional variety of items, offering opportunities for attendees of all budgets to own a piece of local history. From modestly priced personal belongings that give insight into Mr. Rice’s everyday life to more extravagant pieces reflecting his successful career and passion for the beach lifestyle, there’s something for everyone. These items are not only memorabilia but a chance to connect with the innovative spirit and tropical allure that defined Mr. Rice.

Dunn’s Attic prides itself on being a world-class purveyor of one-of-a-kind heirloom quality items for the home or business. Our proven track record in this endeavor makes us uniquely qualified to handle the late great Ron Rice estate auction. Mr. Rice’s beachfront home here in Ormond Beach is jam-packed with an epic array of eclectic and diverse items that mirror the dynamic, fun-loving personality of this highly successful local businessman and entrepreneur.

Cuban Art

Mr. Rice traveled repeatedly to Cuba. It is understandable then that his estate sale includes art from this intriguing Caribbean nation. His captivation with the color and diversity of Cuban artresulted in him buying the entire collection of a Cuban art show on one such trip. From the corners of this island which so enthralled the likes of men such as Ron Rice and Ernest Hemmingway, into your home, can travel rare and unique treasures which radiate the essence of one aspect of Caribbean culture.

cuban art

cuban art

Paul Baliker Artwork

Ron Rice was a fan of local sculptor and artist Paul Baliker. Few people epitomized enjoyment of the beachy, laid-back vibe and lifestyle than Ron Rice. No surprise, then, that Ron would be drawn to the nature-themed artwork of Paul Baker. Baliker’s art infuses driftwood with bronze and other materials to represent a symbiotic relationship between humanity and the natural world. His artwork represents the fact that those among us try to bring this relationship to fruition. Paul Bilker’s art reflects this hope and would be an incredible addition to any home or business. Paul’s art is on display across Florida and the continental United States, Hawaii, and internationally.

This auction is more than just a sale; it is a celebration of a man who captured the essence of the beach and bottled it for the world to enjoy. Join us as we honor his legacy and offer you the opportunity to take home a piece of this incredible story.

Please visit our online auction link to see the items currently for sale. There will be multiple auctions with items added frequently, so keep checking the sites to see all the items offered. For additional details, please contact Wes Dunn via email at Take advantage of the opportunity to own a piece of history and celebrate the achievements of an entrepreneur who brought the beach to homes around the globe.