John Ringling North
John Ringling North (right) and Frank Buck
Born (1903-08-14)August 14, 1903
Baraboo, Wisconsin
Died June 4, 1985(1985-06-04) (aged 81)
Brussels, Belgium
Cause of death Stroke
Other names Buddy North
Parents Ida Loraina Wihelmina Ringling
Harry Whitestone North
Relatives Henry Ringling North, brother
John Nicholas Ringling, uncle

John Ringling North (14 August 1903 - 4 June 1985) was the owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1937 to 1943 and from 1947 to 1967. In 1967 he sold the circus to Irvin Feld.

Biography[edit | edit source]

He was born on 14 August 14, 1903 in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

He took over as head of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus after the death of John Nicholas Ringling in 1936.[1]

During World War II he worked for the Office of Strategic Services. He parachuted into France as part of Operation Jedburgh.

He later married the actress Germaine Aussey.

In 1956 he switched from tents to air conditioned venues.[1] In 1967 he sold the circus to Irvin Feld.

He died on June 4, 1985 in Brussels, Belgium.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Died.". Time (magazine). 17 June 1985.,9171,959229,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-20. "John Ringling North, 81, flamboyant, fast-talking showman who from 1937 to '43 and from 1947 to '67 ran "The Greatest Show on Earth," the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, started by his five uncles in 1884; of a stroke; in Brussels. North took over the debt-spangled show after the death of his last uncle, John Ringling, and modernized it with such attractions as Gargantua the Great, the "vehemently vicious" 550-lb. gorilla that drew more than 40 million circusgoers. In 1956, North folded the big top and reincarnated the show for new arenas of the air-conditioned era." 

External links[edit | edit source]

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