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P.T. Barnum
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Circus Performer
    (July 5, 1810-April 7, 1891)
    Birth name is Phineas Taylor Barnum
    Established 'Barnum's American Museum' in New York City
    Established 'The Greatest Show on Earth' traveling circus (1871)
    Co-founded 'Barnum and Bailey's Circus' (1887)
    Authored 'The Life of P.T. Barnum, Written by Himself'
    As publisher for his hometown newspaper he made numerous enemies. He was arrested three times for libel.
    When his first wife died after 45 years of marriage, he soon married a woman who was 40 years younger than he was.
    He disguised ordinary people and promoted them to the public as freaks (including a five-year-old boy as the world's smallest man and an 80-year-old woman as George Washington's 161-year-old nurse).
    He attempted to buy the 'Cardiff Giant,' a supposedly frozen body of a real giant. When his offer was refused, he built his own and claimed that his giant was real while the other was a hoax (a court case later proved both 'giants' were fake).
    On his death bed he asked a newspaper to run his obituary in advance so he could read it.
    He could be described as the Jerry Springer of his day.
    To keep people moving out of his museum at he end of the exhibits was a sign stating: This Way to the Egress. Most visitors did not realize egress is a fancy word for exit.
    As a teenager he had to support his mother and five siblings after his father died.
    He performed for heads of state such as Abraham Lincoln and Queen Victoria.
    He was excellent at promotions, showmanship, publicity, and management.
    He satisfied the public's taste for the outrageous, improbable and strange.
    He became a self-made millionaire.
    Regarding negative press he said, 'I don't care much what the papers say about me, provided they say something.'
    He didn't say: 'There's a sucker born every minute' (the quote was said by a competitor of his).
    The woman who portrayed George Washington's nanny was actually a former slave who he helped free.

Credit: Call me Calvin

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