Beyond the Big Top

In 1948, Alberto Zoppé agreed to come to America and perform with the Ringling Bros.—under one condition. In his absence, his circus in Italy needed a headliner, so he asked Ringling to send an elephant to replace him. The Americans agreed, the elephant was sent, and Alberto came to the U.S. to perform as a bareback horse rider. He eventually appeared in Cecil B. DeMille’s ode to the pageantry and drama of life under the big top, The Greatest Show on Earth. In the circus’ heyday,

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