Ringling Brothers

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Ringling Brothers,

seven brothers, sons of German-born August Rüngeling, who established an American circus empire. Albert C. (1852–1916), Otto (1858–1911), Alfred T. (1861–1919), Charles Edward (1863–1926), and John (1866–1936) founded the circus in Baraboo, Wisc., in 1884. Henry (1869–1918) joined the show in 1886, and August G. (1854–1907) followed three years later. The show soon started to tour the Midwest, at first traveling by wagon. In 1889 it began to use the railroad, greatly expanding the scope of its tour. By the turn of the century the Ringling Brothers were a major force in the circus world, and soon acquired a number of smaller circuses. In 1907 they purchased their largest competitor, Barnum & Bailey, and a decade later combined the shows into the nation's largest circus, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey, styled the "Greatest Show on Earth." When Charles, who had long directed the circus, died, John became boss. He bought (1929) the American Circus Corp., and ran the entertainment empire until his death in 1936. John's nephew John Ringling North (1903–85) ran the operation for most of the ensuing years until 1967, when the circus was sold to a business group; the circus continued in operation until 2017.


See A. T. Ringling, Life Story of the Ringling Brothers (1900); C. P. Fox, A Ticket to the Circus: A Pictorial History of the Incredible Ringlings (1959); H. R. North and A. Hatch, The Circus Kings: Our Ringling Family (1960); G. Plowden, These Amazing Ringlings and Their Circus (1967); K. Matthews, The Unlikely Legacy (1979); D. Hammarstrom, Big Top Boss: John Ringling North and the Circus (1994); J. Apps, Ringlingville USA (2005).

References in periodicals archive ?
A circus-themed take on the original, with Clara running off to join the circus--fitting, given Sarasota's Ringling Brothers circus heritage.
Just this year (2017), the iconic Ringling Brothers Circus announced that it was shutting down permanently after a series of final performances.
Graced with original gargoyles and the pointed arches of classic Gothic architecture, 36 Gramercy Park East was once home to the actors John and Ethel Barrymore and Alfred Ringling of Ringling Brothers Circus fame.
Epic stars Charlton Heston as Brad Braden, a circus manager who's in charge of the Ringling Brothers circus on a run through small towns.
He's run arenas, theaters, convention centers and road operations for the Ringling Brothers Circus.
This is where the question of foresee-ability arises; you see, Janos was an acrobat employed by the Ringling Brothers Circus and stood barely three feet tall.
Among her subsequent gigs was an off-Broadway two-person dance theater piece as partner to a former Ringling Brothers circus clown.
Ringling Brothers circus operates a breeding program for Asian elephants.
Some days I feel like a member of the Ringling Brothers Circus.
Hacia 1956 adquirio el legendario Ringling Brothers Circus por 8 millones de dolares, montando una carpa gigantesca de costa a costa y de frontera a frontera.
My arty, freethinking Jewish mother had been the lady on the flying trapeze in Ringling Brothers circus, her talent for daredevil acrobatics no doubt inherited from her mother's Mongolian ancestors.
169: The number of innocent people killed when Robert Segee torched the Ringling Brothers circus in Hartford, Conn.