Sidney Franklin (bullfighter)

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Sidney Franklin
Sidney Franklin standing on the set of 'The Kid from Spain' (4932598466).jpg
Sidney Franklin standing on the set of 'The Kid from Spain'
Personal information
Full nameSidney Frumkin
Nickname(s)El Torero de la Torah
Born(1903-07-11)July 11, 1903
Brooklyn, New York, United States
DiedApril 26, 1976(1976-04-26) (aged 72)
New York City, United States
Sport Bullfighting
Rank Matador
Bullfighting career
Début novillero27 July 1923
Alternativa1945 [1]

Sidney Franklin (11 July 1903 26 April 1976, born Sidney Frumkin) was the first American to become a successful matador, the most senior level of bullfighter.



Sidney Franklin was born in Brooklyn, New York to Orthodox Jewish parents. [2] In 1922, he traveled to Mexico City where he would begin a career in bullfighting. He fought bulls in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, and Panama.

Writing on Sidney Franklin in Death in the Afternoon , Ernest Hemingway says,

Franklin is brave with a cold, serene and intelligent valor but instead of being awkward and ignorant he is one of the most skillful, graceful and slow manipulators of a cape fighting today. His repertoire with the cape is enormous but he does not attempt by a varied repertoire to escape from the performance of the veronica as the base of his cape work and his veronicas are classical, very emotional, and beautifully timed and executed. You will find no Spaniard who ever saw him fight who will deny his artistry and excellence with the cape.[ This quote needs a citation ]

And later Hemingway adds,

He is a better, more scientific, more intelligent, and more finished matador than all but about six of the full matadors in Spain today and the bullfighters know it and have the utmost respect for him.[ This quote needs a citation ]

Franklin appeared in a few films in the USA and Mexico.[ citation needed ] Later he presented bullfights on American TV.[ citation needed ] He wrote an autobiography, Bullfighter from Brooklyn,[ citation needed ] and was a close friend of the American actor and legend James Dean, who was a big fan of the art of bullfighting.[ citation needed ]

He died at home in 1976, age 72, of natural causes. [3] He was gay, his sexual identity having been an open secret among those who knew him, but remaining unknown to the public. [4]


According to A. E. Hotchner, "Lillian Ross's career with The New Yorker was founded on the success of her profile of the bullfighter Sidney Franklin." – Papa Hemingway, A. E. Hotchner, 1955.

Partial filmography

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  1. Footnote to: Barnaby Conrad, “John Fulton”, Encyclopædia Britannica . May 21, 2019. (Retrieved 2019-09-12.)
  2. "Guide to the Sidney Franklin (1903-1976) Collection, 1922-1976, 1986, 2001-2010 (Bulk 1922-1958)".
  3. "Sidney Franklin, 72, Dies; Matador from Brooklyn". The New York Times. 1976-05-02.
  4. Kilgannon, Corey (2019-06-25). "The Gay Jewish Matador from Brooklyn". The New York Times.