Joe the Leopard Boy


One of many leopard boys employed by P.T. Barnum, A.E. Bishell (1869-1909), like most who bore the name, was an African American who had the condition called leucoderma, which produces a spotty, “piebald” bifurcation of skin coloring. After years of employ by Barnum, he worked the dime museum scene. He reportedly died at age 40 when he accidentally fell into an open trap door.

To learn about the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from etc etc etc


One comment

  1. I had a cousin who worked barnum and bailey in the 1930s. Do vou have any info? I knew of him as Bennie Junior the Leopard Boy.


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