NPR

From The Big Top Into The Big World: A Ringling Ringmaster's Final Bow

Johnathan Lee Iverson, the first African-American ringmaster of "The Greatest Show on Earth," helms the famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for its last performance this Sunday.
Iverson talks with his daughter, 8-year-old Lila Simone, in their home on the circus train. She and her brother, 12-year-old Matthew Felipe, have grown up in the circus and both now perform in the ring. Source: Marian Carrasquero

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been entertaining audiences for a long time. Its history goes back 146 years — to about the time when professional baseball emerged and before Coca-Cola was invented.

But

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min readPolitics
How To Start A Revolution
Revolutions don't just happen. A data-driven approach to studying activism suggests two characteristics can vastly increase chances of success.
NPR2 min read
Catholic School Fires Gay Teacher To Stay In Indianapolis Archdiocese
The school says not terminating the teacher would have resulted in "our forfeiting our Catholic identity." Last week, a nearby Jesuit school decided to split with the archdiocese instead.
NPR3 min read
U.S.-Iran Strife 'A Very Interesting Situation,' Says Former American Diplomat In Middle East
How is the region reacting to rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran? Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson gets perspective from Douglas Silliman, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq.