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Circus Owners and Managers



Excerpt from the book: Step Right Up, The Adventures of Circus in America
By authors Lavahn G. Hoh and William Rough

Circus owners are a varied lot indeed. Some were born into circus families. Some ran away with the circus as youngsters and worked their way up through the ranks of ticket takers and candy butchers. Others are entrepreneurs and businessmen. And still more see themselves as creative artists, sometimes even serving as headline performers. There are owners who never miss seeing a performance of their own shows, and others who never leave winter quarters.

Why would anybody want to own a circus? Everyone knows that its a very tough business. The short historical list of people who were successful at running or owning their own shows suggests that a lot of pain went with the job. Plenty of owners, including P.T. Barnum, made fortunes, only to lose them again. Many, like Dan Rice, the circus-owner clown who wanted to be president, died as forgotten alcoholics. Yankee Robinson, the boom-or-bust pioneer owner who gave the Ringlings a boost at the beginning of their career, died broke.

At least for these and many other men, there was always a chance for economic success. That had to be enough, and in many cases success was irrelevant anyway. Consequences, and the possibility of failure were not part of the equation.


Circus Trivia, Did You Know?   Did You Know, Circus owner Kenneth Feld offered every child born in 1993 a free ticket to the RBBB circus, his way of making sure a new generation of children will be exposed to the wonders of the circus.



A - E   F - K   L - P   R - W

Jess Adkins
Edna Antes
Parley Baer
James Bailey
Al G. Barnes
Roger Barnes
P. T. Barnum
Clyde Beatty
George R. Beers
Paul Binder
Dr. Charles W. Boas
Roger Boyd Jr.
Randolph Calhoun
Dan Castello
Bob Childress
G. W. Christy
James M. Cole
Jerry Collins
Art Concello
James E. Cooper
William Cameron Coup
Cristiani Family
Ben Davenport
Andrew Downie
Robert & Doris Earl
George Engesser
Irvin Feld
Kenneth Feld
Adam Forepaugh
Wayne Franzen
Henry B. Gentry
Ernest Haag
Carl Hagenbeck
John Hall
Ward Hall
George A. Hamid Sr.
Ernest A. Harrington
Jimmy Heron
James A. Haley
Allan C. Hill
Dave Hoover
Jack Hoxie
Charles T. Hunt
Terrell Jacobs
Walter Kernan
Bill Ketrow
Floyd King
Karl Larsson
Lindemann Brothers
Paul M. Lewis
John Lewis
Walter L. Main
Arnold Maley
Billy Martin
Frank McCloskey
Joe and Donna McMahon
Rob Mermin
D. R. Dores Miller
Obert Miller
Stuart Miller
Tom Mix
Jack Moore
Robert Morton
Jerry Mugivan
John Ringling North
Frank Orman
Tom Packs
James Patterson
Irving J. Polack
John Pugh
Dan Rice
John Bill Ricketts
Ringling Brothers
John Robinson
Yankee Robinson
Ozzie Schleentz
Bob Snowden
Sig Sautelle
Charles Sparks
Louis Stern
Zack Terrell
Tihany / Franz Czeisler
Ned Toth
Hoxie Tucker
Cliff Vargas
Cedric Walker
Johnny Walker
Ben Wallace
Claude and Pauline Webb
Alson F. Wheeler


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