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Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Lou Jacobs has spent more then 60 years in the clowning world, and became one of the most famous. Lou (Ludwig Jacob) was born in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1903. He came to America in 1923 at the age of 19, changing his name to Lou Jacobs. He soon found work as a acrobat in outdoor fairs and vaudeville in NYC, soon joining Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus and like they say the rest is clown history. Throughout his life he kept love and kindness and compassion in his heart and taught it to the world. What he was given in love from his audience he gave back to the clown community twice fold. You might remember the red and white midget clown car, his idea, the car was 2 feet by 3 feet and Lou was 6 ft 1 in., due to his earlier days as a tumbler and contortionist he was able to do it with ease. Remember the big game hunter his dog who would play the part of a bwatty rabbit and be shot by Lou, then played dead , realizing the it was his dog he would mourn and cry, soon his fateful pal would wake up and reunite and everyone was happy. His dogs was his chihuahua, Knucklehead and he played in many of Lou's skits for the next 14 years. Lou made the most of his own gags, many of which became Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus classics. He brought his healing power to hospitals and even brought it to children who survived Nazi concentration camps in 1948. In 1952 he appeared in the movie "the Greatest Show On Earth" 1953 he married former model Jean Rockwell and aerialist with the circus. In 1966 he was honored with his face on a postage stamp. When he retired from the clowning he became one of the founding fathers of the clown college, giving the knowledge that took him a lifetime to learn, passed onto his students. Lou continued in this capacity till his failing health caused him to stop, but even though he was ill he still found it in him to keep the spirits that won him world fame high. He became the master clown, the clowns highest degree. He was showered with awards and accolades. In 1987 he was given the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Lifetime Achievement, 1988 he was given a star at Sarasota's Circus Ring of Stars. 1989 Lou was enshrined in the Circus Hall of Fame in Peru, Indiana, as well as the Clown Hall of Fame in Delavan, Wisconsin. He was also honored at the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo. Lou lives on in the hearts of all that is circus and clowning, because he was the epitome of the clown, laughter and kindness, he lived his life in and outside the circus the same way.A clown in the truest of spirits.

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