25 Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About P.T. Barnum

Published June 24, 2017
Updated May 4, 2018

These fascinating P.T. Barnum facts reveal the story of the infamous showman who brought Barnum & Bailey Circus to the world.

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Phineas Taylor Barnum, better known simply as P.T. Barnum, stands today as perhaps history's greatest showman. A founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, which eventually merged with the Ringling Bros. operation to form the Greatest Show on Earth, Barnum’s spectacles entertained millions for many years.

Nearly one and a half centuries after the 1871 founding of Barnum's original circus, the Greatest Show on Earth's final performance took place in the spring of 2017.

In honor of so many decades of entertainment, we've compiled the most interesting P.T. Barnum facts that reveal a lot you never knew about the intriguing, brilliant, fun-loving man who's creations captivated countless people.

Next after reading these interesting P.T. Barnum facts, learn about "lobster boy," the circus act turned murderer and read about some other infamous sideshow performers. Then, read the sad story of Murderous Mary, a circus elephant hanged by a Tennessee town.

All That's Interesting
All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out the stories to illuminate the past, present, and future.