Rory Regan was raised by his single father Gerry Regan after his mother died when he was young. Though Gerry owned a local junkshop, Rags 'n Tatters, he promised Rory they would get rich. Eventually, Rory joined the United States Army and served in the Vietnam War while Gerry would spend every night drinking with his buddies in the junkyard behind their shop. One night, Gerry and his friends discovered a mattress stuffed with money in the yard. They agreed their lives were spent and decided to finally make Rory rich. Unfortunately, the gangster who hid the mattress came to get it and held them at gunpoint. Immediately after, he was killed by the other gangsters he stole the money from. Not knowing where the money was hidden, these gangsters also held the men at gunpoint demanding the location of the money. Gerry and his pals held their tongues even when the gangsters shot down the power lines on top of them. Rory arrived and tried to pull them out, each man locking hands in a human chain. The electricity surged through them, grounding out through Rory. The gangsters departed believing they had all been killed.
Rory, however, survived never knowing of the fortune hidden in his junkyard. He did find that the strength and abilities of each man had been transferred into him at their deaths. Rory now possessed the strength of a circus strongman, the skills of a former heavyweight boxer, and the agility of a prize-winning acrobat. Rory also found a note from his father along with tattered costume. Although Gerry intended the costume be worn to a costume party, Rory used to to fight crime.
After the death of his father, Rory felt drawn to Rags 'n Tatters in a way he had not been before. Although his unwillingness to leave irked his girlfriend Bette Berg, his shop provided small loans to a desperate community. Not feeling this was enough, he also used the tattered costume to fight the criminals Rory Regan could not. As Ragman, Rory fought numerous gangsters intent on finding the hidden loot in the junkyard. He also saved the beautiful singer Opal twice, once when she was a hostage and again when she was bait. He later rescued Teddy, a blind mute boy, and his kitten, Puss, when they overheard a murder. Rory and Bette started a friendship with the orphan and Rory let Puss, the only one aware of Rory's double identity, stay in the shop. When criminals again came for the fortune hidden in the junkyard, Ragman defended the neighborhood, including rescuing Opal once again. Teddy unwittingly used the stolen money as tinder to create a fire and saved a freezing homeless man. The money was destroyed, with Rory and Teddy no wiser that the fortune that had been so close all along.
When Bette learned that criminals were forcing citizens out of the neighborhood to push through a lucrative real estate deal, Ragman investigated. Ragman initially believed that Bruce Wayne was involved in the shady deal. Tracking Wayne, Ragman instead found Batman and the two tussled. Eventually, the two were able to work together to shut down the illegal practice. Bruce Wayne then used his influence to get Bette's story published, exposing the operation. He also gave Rory a grant to enable Rags 'n Tatters to continue doing good work for the neighborhood.
Ragman was involved in another case with Batman when the two heroes traded costumes while battling the Dynamiters for Democracy. He also took part in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, when he was present for a mass gathering of heroes and villains aboard Monitor's Satellite.
- Ragman Suit: The Great Collector Artifact, a mystical Jewish artifact created to protect the Jewish communities ever since the time of Abraham.
- 13 Appearances of Rory Regan (Earth-One)
- 7 Images featuring Rory Regan (Earth-One)
- 2 Quotations by or about Rory Regan (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Rory Regan (Earth-One)