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Monday, September 17, 2007

Otto Griebling, Sad Faced Clown

After searching for information about Otto Griebling, I am wondering if he is the clown in our painting. Griebling came to America at the young age of fourteen. He began his early circus career as a bareback comedy rider with a circus in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Much of Griebling's career was spent with the Sells Floto, Cole Bros. and finally the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circuses. (The Cole Brothers still have family in our community. One of the grandsons was in our store on Saturday!) Most of his performing was done silent or in pantomime. This would serve him well later in life, in 1970 Otto had his larynx removed due to cancer.

Otto Griebling worked tirelessly teaching his craft to the first few classes of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in Venice Florida.

His long and distinguished career came to an end in April 1972 when he died from throat cancer, at Saint Clare's hospital in New York city. He was buried at Sarasota Memorial Park, Sarasota, Florida.