Ringling Bros Barnum Bailey Circus Miss Leitzel
1929 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents the Dainty Miss Leitzel.Lillian Leitzel is considered by many to be the greatest circus performer of all time. Less than five feet tall, she achieved feats of aerial gymnastics unattempted by her male counterparts. She first became a circus performer with Barnum & Bailey as a member of the Leamy Ladies, along with her mother and aunt. Discovered by the Ringling Brothers on a stage in South Bend, she became an immediate star for their circus in 1915. She remained a superstar throughout the 1920s until her fall and tragic death while performing in Copenhagen, a few days prior to her scheduled Madison Square Garden opening in 1931.Earl Chapin May, writing a few months after her death, describes her as a brilliant artiste and a very rare person..By smartly walking into the big-top she focused the attention of 15,000 persons. She held them by merely striking an attitude. She won them completely by her performance because she surrounded an ugly thing with supreme artistry.No circus woman of this decade was more extensively interviewed by journalists than Little Leitzel..None was more at heart a trouper (Circus Posters, p. 11).