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Reflections on our Founder and namesake Master Showman Clyde Beatty

 

Unlike many circus performers, Clyde Beatty was not born into a family of circus artists. Instead, like many boys of his era, he was raised on a farm, far removed from the excitement and glamour of the circus.

 

In his day, the circus made an annual trek to the larger towns, but also drew patrons from all over the surrounding areas. At age 18, Clyde Beatty still lived on the family farm in his hometown Bainbridge, Ohio. He left for a one day "city visit" to see, in person, a real circus. It was 1921 and young Beatty fell in love with all he saw. It was the beginning of a life-long love affair and the start of his dazzling career in the "big cage." He quietly left his life on the farm and never looked back.

 

Beatty started inconspicuously enough as an animal groom. His first season was filled with sweat and hard work but his sights were set on a career in animal training. Beatty learned well and learned quickly. By his second year on the road, Clyde was assigned a small polar bear act to train and present in the show. In following seasons, he inherited more responsibilities and quietly stepped in to takeover the circus' feature wild animal act when the veteran trainer was suddenly taken ill.

 

Young Clyde's self-confidence and unabashed theatrics swiftly catapulted him to circus fame. Within merely a decade, the name Clyde Beatty became synonymous with the best and most exciting wild animal training ever seen under the Big Top!

 

During the 1930's through the '60's, Clyde Beatty enjoyed a celebrity status that today we associate only with leading pop culture figures. In addition to top billing in the circus world, he was the co-author of several best-selling books and starred in a number of hit Hollywood motion pictures. His popularity with children and adults alike cast him as a "real life" hero and role model to countless generations. In the early 1950's, Beatty had both a popular weekly radio show and a network television series.

Clyde  carved out a stellar reputation in circus annals
as the undisputed wild animal master.

 

He became an astute showman and businessman with his services as both a top performer and circus co-owner in high demand. Innumerable circuses featured Beatty, with appropriate star billing, as the unrivaled crowd pleaser of their shows.

  

Over the years he was sole proprietor of several touring circuses, all of which were greeted with popular acclaim and much success.

 

In 1944 he formed his own Clyde Beatty Circus, a huge endeavor which traveled by rails, and featured the finest performers from the world of the circus. His self-titled circus continued as a major tented show. Through the years that followed and even after his death, the Clyde Beatty title has always been associated with top flight entertainment, a tradition carried on today with the current incarnation of the much acclaimed CLYDE BEATTY CIRCUS.

 

Beatty's circus, as you see it today, has endeavored to preserve the original flavor and flair, in its purest form. Brilliantly emblazoned in a plethora of vivid circus hues, our performance is filled with thrills and excitement... a continuance of a thoroughly original American entertainment tradition.

 

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