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Robert H. Morton

June 01, 1894 - Sept. 16, 1956



Robert H. "Bob" Morton was born the first day of June 1894, in Fox Chase Pennsylvania a suburb of Philadelphia. The Morton family had resided in the Fox Chase community for over 150 years.

Morton attended Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, (a private, Ivy League school in Philadelphia). In 1916 Robert graduated with a degree in accounting and was preparing himself for a life as a Certified Public Accountant.

While attending the university Robert supplemented his income by working at fairs and carnivals, where he gained an interest in the concession business. Morton soon opened his own concession business which grew to a string of concessions on several different shows.

Robert went to work in the office of the "Gentry Bros. Dog and Pony Show", Then owned by Jake Newman and Ben Austin. While working on the circus, Robert conceived a new concept for circuses, a circus operating exclusively under Shrine sponsorship. Morton took his idea to the circus owners who did not see the potential and were not interested.

Robert, having confidence in his Shrine Circus concept convinced Newman and Austin to lend him enough equipment to produce a circus for the Shrine Temple in Dallas, Texas. The event was a huge success with the sponsor receiving over thirty thousand dollars for their participation. This was the birth of the Shrine Circus in America and the start of the "Bob Morton Circus".

The circus continued successfully for 15 years, then in 1932 Morton joined forces with theatrical talent agent George Hamid creating the Hamid Morton Circus, which became one of the best known and largest Shrine Circus operation in the country.

Morton co-owned the circus until his death in 1956.

Robert Morton was not only successful in the circus business, he also invested in real estate and owned hotels, apartments and condominiums in Miami.

Robert H. Morton died on September 16, 1956 in Miami Florida.



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