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 • John and Mable Ringling Museum
 • Sarasota
 • Sarasota County
 • Florida
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John Ringling
Birth: May 31, 1866
Death: Dec. 2, 1936

Entertainer. Born Johann Nicholas Rüngeling, one of seven sons of German immigrant and harness maker, August Rüngeling, in McGregor, Iowa. After moving to Baraboo, Wisconsin, the brothers Ringling created and performed a vaudeville-type show in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, on November 27, 1882. John played the clown. Two years later, the Ringling Brothers were able to open their first circus. By 1887, the growing Ringling brothers' show was called Ringling Bros. United Monster Shows, Great Double Circus, Royal European Menagerie, Museum, Caravan, and Congress of Trained Animals. By 1900, Ringling Brothers had one of the largest shows in the country and began absorbing other circuses. In 1907, the Ringlings purchased their largest competitor, Barnum & Bailey Circus; The Greatest Show on Earth became the Ringlings' show for $400,000. He was an early settler and developer of Sarasota Florida. He owned and planned the Ringling Isles subdivision that included St. Armands Key, Bird Key, Coon Key, Wolf Key, and 2,000 acres on Longboat Key. He had built the Ringling Causeway and bridge to St. Armand Key and then donated it to the city. John was listed as one of the richest men in the world in 1925. In 1927, he moved the winter quarters of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus to Sarasota. In 1929, he bought the American Circus Corporation for $2 million. With that purchase, the last surviving Ringling brother owned virtually every traveling circus in America. Shortly after the acquisition, he lost in short order his wife, Mabel, and much of his fortune. Ringling was voted out of control of his business in 1932. At his death, he willed his house, his museum, and his entire art collection to the state of Florida. (bio by: Iola) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Mable Burton Ringling (1875 - 1929)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
John and Mable Ringling Museum
Sarasota
Sarasota County
Florida, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Sep 23, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 6458
John Ringling
Added by: Tim Oliver
 
John Ringling
Added by: Ron Moody
 
John Ringling
Added by: Robin Yellen
 
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Here's To You, "Mr. John"! I Hope To See Your "Big Show" In The Sky With All Your Great Stars From The Past! Rest In Thrills-"Peace" Would Bore You.
- Sheldon Klein
 Added: Feb. 6, 2014

- DENA ANN
 Added: Dec. 8, 2013

- bob tarte
 Added: Dec. 2, 2013
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