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P. T. Barnum

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Phineas Taylor Barnum
Phineas Taylor Barnum portrait.jpg
Phineas Taylor Barnum
photo by Mathew Brady, c.1860
Phineas Taylor Barnum

July 5, 1810(1810-07-05)
Bethel, Connecticut
Died April 7, 1891(1891-04-07) (aged 80)
Cause of death Stroke
Resting place Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport
Political party Democratic (1824-54)
Republican (1854-91)
PT Barnum Signature.svg

Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American showman, businessman, and entertainer. He is most remembered for promoting hoaxes and for founding a circus. He suggested the circus setting for Horatio Alger, Jr.'s boys book The Young Acrobat.[1] He introduced Jenny Lind to the American public. Barnum is also widely known for making the famous phrase "There's a sucker born every minute."

His successes may have made him the first "show business" millionaire. Although Barnum was also an author, publisher, and for a while a politician, he said of himself, "I am a showman by profession."[2]


  1. Hoyt, Edwin. 1974. Horatio's Boys. Chilton Book Co. p. 145.
  2. Kunhardt, Kunhardt & Kunhardt 1995, p. vi