BARNUM, PHINEAS T.
Without question, Barnum was the most famous showman of his time. He openly stated that the American public wanted to be "humbugged," and he rarely missed an opportunity to do so, much to the public's delight. He presented attractions which were enormously popular in their time, many of which live on today in stories of that era: the midget, General Tom Thumb; Jenny Lind's concert tour of the U.S.; and Jumbo the elephant. He co-founded the most famous circus in history, known today as the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus. Active in politics in later years, he served for several years as a member of the Connecticut legislature, and one term as mayor of Bridgeport, CT.