Ragdolls were developed in the 1960’s by Ann Baker, a Persian breeder in California, some of whose original stock consisted of sturdy, free-roaming cats. It is thought she created the foundations of the Ragdoll breed by selecting kittens out of Josephine, a semi-feral longhaired white female Persian/Angora type, sired by several unknown male Birman-like or Burmese-like cats, one with Siamese markings. Out of those early litters came Blackie, a black Burmese-like male and Daddy Warbucks, a Birman-like pointed male. Daddy Warbucks sired the founding bicolor female Fugianna, and Blackie sired Buckwheat, a dark brown/black Burmese-like female. Both Fugianna and Buckwheat were daughters of Josephine. All Ragdoll cats are descended from Josephine through matings of Daddy Warbucks to Fugianna and Buckwheat. 

By selecting individuals with the look and temperament she wanted for her breeding program, Anne Baker created the standard Ragdoll type. Denny and Laura Dayton are credited with bringing the Ragdoll breed to worldwide recognition by various cat registration organizations. What is known is that this breed was selectively bred over many years for desirable traits, such as large size, gentle demeanor, and a tendency to go limp when picked up.