Timothy Holst

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[1] Timothy J. Holst (October 9, 1947 – April 16, 2009) began his circus career in 1971 graduating from Clown College, touring as a clown in 1972, and then became the singing ringmaster in 1973 with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. [2]

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus United States traveling circus company

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, also known as the Ringling Bros. Circus, Ringling Bros. or simply Ringling was an American traveling circus company billed as The Greatest Show on Earth. It and its predecessor shows ran from 1871 to 2017. Known as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, the circus started in 1919 when the Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth, a circus created by P. T. Barnum and James Anthony Bailey, was merged with the Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows. The Ringling brothers had purchased Barnum & Bailey Ltd. following Bailey's death in 1906, but ran the circuses separately until they were merged in 1919.

The son of a postman and a nurse, Holst was born in Galesburg, Illinois. A lifelong Mormon, he served as a missionary for two years in Sweden. He attended Ricks College and Utah State University, studying drama. While performing in the summer stock theater in Yellow Stone National Park, he was "discovered" by a traveling promoter for Ringling Brothers.

Galesburg, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Galesburg is a city in Knox County, Illinois, United States. The city is 45 miles (72 km) northwest of Peoria. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 32,195. It is the county seat of Knox County and the principal city of the Galesburg Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Knox and Warren counties.

Missionary member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism

A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or perform ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem, meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send". The word was used in light of its biblical usage; in the Latin translation of the Bible, Christ uses the word when sending the disciples to preach The gospel in his name. The term is most commonly used for Christian missions, but can be used for any creed or ideology.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.

He later became the General Manager of the Red Show and ultimately the Feld Entertainment Inc. Vice President of Talent and Production in 1984. He spent the last twenty years of his career identifying and signing new hires for the circus, and was responsible for making deals with then-Communist countries to hire performers and enter into cultural exchanges. As the talent scout for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, he traveled to 164 countries, where he recruited more than 3,000 people before his death in 2009.

When not traveling 11 months of the year, Holst lived most of his adult life in Sarasota County, Florida. He died in Sao Paulo, Brazil while on a trip there to recruit circus performers. On January 16, 2013, Adrienne, Matthew and Megan Holst accepted the Ring of Fame award on behalf of their late father, Tim Holst. The official Circus Ring of Fame memorial tribute to Tim Holst from the Feld Family and Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus can be seen on the Circle in Sarasota Florida on St. Armands Key.

Holst appeared in a segment of Sesame Street with nine other clowns. He is number 8 and he bonks himself on the head with a mallet.

<i>Sesame Street</i> American childrens television program

Sesame Street is an American educational children's television series that combines live action, sketch comedy, animation and puppetry. It is produced by Sesame Workshop and was created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett. The program is known for its images communicated through the use of Jim Henson's Muppets, and includes short films, with humor and cultural references. The series premiered on November 10, 1969, to positive reviews, some controversy, and high viewership; it has aired on the U.S.'s national public television provider PBS since its debut, with its first run moving to premium channel HBO on January 16, 2016.


  1. Katie, Hendrick. "Circus Ring of Fame adds three acts". YourObserver.com. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  2. Collins, Glenn (April 22, 2009). "Timothy J. Holst, Who Filled Circus Big Top With Talent, Dies at 61". The New York Times . Retrieved April 23, 2009.

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