Ringmasters

It's often pointed out that there have been fewer Ringmasters of The Greatest Show On Earth® than there have been Presidents of the United States. This is indeed the case. For your historical reference, here is a star-by-star chronology of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Ringmasters through the years. 

#38 Andre McClain (2013 – Present) stepped into the role of ringmaster for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Built To Amaze, the 143rd  Edition of The Greatest Show On Earth®. Andre has been a part of the Ringling family since 2003 in a variety of roles utilizing his many talents. 

#37 David Shipman (2012 – Present) joined The Greatest Show On Earth® as the newest Ringmaster performing in the Gold Unit Edition of Fully ChargedSM and now in the all-new Super Circus HeroesSM

#36 Brian Crawford Scott (2010-2012)  Brian Crawford Scott (2010-2012) joined The Greatest Show On Earth® performing in Fully ChargedSM, the 141st Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®.

#35 CHUCK WAGNER (2005 - 2008) - Chuck joined The Greatest Show On Earth with the 136th Edition, Circus of Dreams, and continued as Ringmaster for the 138th Edition, Over The Top.

#34 TYRON McFARLAN (2005 - 2008) - Tyron joined the 135th Edition Red Unit of The Greatest Show On Earth and remained with the Ringling Bros.® family as Ringmaster of the 137th Edition, Bellobration.

#33 KEVIN VENARDOS (2001 - 2005) - Kevin joined the Blue Unit of The Greatest Show On Earth for the second year of the 130th Edition, and remained through the Blue Unit's 134th Edition.

#32 MICHAEL JAMES McGOWAN (2000 - 2001) - Michael was Ringmaster for the first year of the Blue Unit's 130th Edition.

#31 DAVID ALAN MARSHALL (1999) - Marshall was Ringmaster for part of the second year of the Blue Unit's 128th Edition.

#30 JOHNATHAN LEE IVERSON (1999 - 2004, 2010 - present) -  Johnathan joined The Greatest Show On Earth in 1999 as Ringmaster of the Red Unit's 129th Edition, and at the time was the youngest Ringmaster ever in history. He was also Ringmaster of the Red Unit's 131st and 133rd Editions.  After a 6-year hiatus, Johnathan has returned to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey as the Ringmaster of the Blue Unit's 140th Edition, Barnum Bash 200, the 142nd Edition Dragons, and the newest production Legends.

#29 ROBERT TULLY (1998) - Tully was Ringmaster for the second year of the Red Unit's 127th Edition.

#28 ERIC MICHAEL GILLETT (1987 - 1997) - Gillett was Ringmaster for the Red Unit's 117th, 119th, 121st, 123rd, and 125th Editions, and for the first year of the Red Unit's 127th Edition.

#27 KRISTOPHER ANTEKEIER (1986 - 1987) - Antekeier was Ringmaster of the second year of the Red Unit's 115th Edition and the first year of the Red Unit's 117th Edition.

#26 JIM RAGONA (1983 - 1994, 1998 - 1999) - Ragona was Ringmaster for the second year of the Blue Unit's 112th Edition, for the Blue Unit's 114th, 116th, 118th, 120th, and 122nd Editions, for the first year of the Blue Unit's 124th Edition, and for the first year and part of the second year of the Blue Unit's 128th Edition.

#25 DINNY McGUIRE (1982, 1983 - 1985) - McGuire was Ringmaster for the first year of the Blue Unit's 112th Edition, moved to the Red Unit for the 113th Edition and the first year of the 115th Edition, then returned to the Blue Unit for the 124th and 126th Editions.

#24 LAWRENCE KELLY (1981) - Kelly was Ringmaster for the second year of the Blue Unit's 110th Edition.

#23 KIT HASKETT (1977 - 1982) - Haskett was Ringmaster for the Red Unit's 107th, 109th, and 111th Editions.

#22 BILL WITTER (1977) - Witter was Ringmaster for the second year of the Blue Unit's 106th Edition.

#21 TIM HOLST (1973, 1974 - 1976) - Holst, a Clown College® graduate, was Ringmaster for the second year of the Blue Unit's 102nd Edition in 1973, then joined the Red Unit, where he was Ringmaster for the second year of the 103rd Edition in 1974, and the entire 105th Edition in 1975-76. He went on to become the Vice President of Talent and Production recruiting all the stars of The Greatest Show On Earth.

#20 BOB WELZ (1969 - 1973) - When The Greatest Show On Earth began touring two separate units in 1969, Welz joined the Red Unit.

#19 GEORGE MICHEL (1959) - Michel was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in 1959.

#18 DON FORBES (1958) - Forbes was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in 1958.

#17 HAROLD RONK (1957, 1960 - 1968, 1969 - 1972, 1974 - 1976, 1978 - 1980) - Ronk was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in 1957 and from 1960-1968. When The Greatest Show On Earth began touring two separate units in 1969, Ronk joined the Blue Unit.

#16 PRESTON LAMBERT (1956) - Lambert was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in 1956, presiding over the last performance under canvas of The Greatest Show On Earth, on July 16 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

#15 COUNT NICHOLAS (1951 - 1955) - Nicholas was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus during these years.

#14 DAVID MURPHY (1950) - Murphy was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in 1950.

#13 HARRY THOMAS (1949) - Thomas was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in 1949.

#12 ARTHUR SPRINGER (1947 - 1948) - Springer was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus during these years.

#11 JOHN AGEE (1916 - 1918) - Agee was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. circus during these years.

#10 FRED BRADNA (1913 - 1918, 1919 - 1946) - Bradna was the Ringmaster of the Barnum & Bailey circus during the years 1913-1918, and presided over the combined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1919 (when the first performance of the combined show took place in New York City) through 1946.

#9 WILLIAM GORMAN (1910, 1911 - 1912) - Gorman was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. circus in 1910, and of the Barnum & Bailey circus during the other years listed.

#8 EDWARD SHIPP (1908 - 1910) - Shipp was the Ringmaster of the Barnum & Bailey circus during these years.

#7 FRANK MELVILLE (1903 - 1904) - Melville was the Ringmaster of the Barnum & Bailey circus during these years.

#6 JOHN O'BRIEN (1895) - O'Brien was the Ringmaster of the Barnum & Bailey circus in 1895.

#5 WILLIAM DUCROW (1890 - 1891, 1896 - 1902, 1906 - 1907) - Ducrow was the Ringmaster of the Barnum & Bailey circus during these years, which included a triumphant European tour in 1898.

#4 AL RINGLING (1884 - 1909, 1911 - 1915) - Ringling was the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. circus during these years.

#3 R. H. DOCKRILL (1882 - 1889, 1892 - 1894, 1905) - Dockrill was Ringmaster of the Barnum & London circus from 1882 - 1889, during which he presided over the arrival of Jumbo in New York City in 1882, and of the Barnum & Bailey circus for the other years listed.

#2 JAMES COOK (1879-1881) - Cook was the Ringmaster of Barnum's circus during these years.

#1 DAN CASTELLO (1871-1878) -- P.T. Barnum's Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Hippodrome made its debut in Brooklyn, NY, in 1871. The subtitle "The Greatest Show On Earth" was used for the first time in 1872.

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