Circus Ring of Fame Wheel Plaque

Allen Bloom

Inducted into the Ring of Fame: 2018

Circus Profession: Executive

Born: 1935

Died: 2008

Allen Bloom Circus Ring Of Fame Foundation inductee

Allen J. Bloom: A Legendary Figure in Live Event Industry, Honored on Circus Ring of Fame

Sarasota, Florida 2018 – Allen Bloom, known as a dealmaker, player, mover and shaker, operator, consummate professional, fierce advocate, business partner, mentor, colleague, friend, family man, and the big cigar, remains one of the most impressive figures in the history of not just Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey, but the live event industry in the latter half of the 20th century.

Bloom’s journey began from humble beginnings as an 11-year-old kid sweeping the floor in a post-war drug store in downtown Washington D.C. The store was owned by Irvin and Israel Feld in the early 1950s and serviced a largely African American community. However, Bloom’s aspirations knew no bounds, and he rose through the ranks to become the Senior Vice President of the greatest show on earth and Feld Entertainment.

Over the span of a 50-year career, Bloom’s contributions to the live event industry are unparalleled. Even before becoming involved in the circus, Bloom had a front-row seat and a backstage pass to the birth of rock and roll, touring with the top musical acts of the 1950s and 60s, including the Drifters, the Coasters, Frankie Lymon, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Paul Anka, and many more.

In an era of segregation, Bloom’s role was not just limited to managing the logistics of the tours, but he also ensured that African American artists had hotel rooms and restaurants while on the road with Feld-owned Super Shows Tours. Bloom, with his uncanny understanding of every number, deal point, split, revenue, and cost, was a force to be reckoned with throughout his entire career.

What truly set Bloom apart was his humanity. Tough yet extremely fair, he expected nothing short of excellence from those around him and his industry partners. There were no half-steps to success in Bloom’s world, only a willingness to work hard, take risks, and learn from mistakes.

During his tenure, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey doubled in size, Disney on Ice was created, and global live family event touring was pioneered in a way that few others could have imagined. Decades ago, Bloom used to say, “The circus is for the masses and not the classes.”

Bloom’s love for the shows his people promoted was palpable. He would often be found sitting in cramped temporary offices in arenas, counting tickets and box office receipts. Whether it was a discounted Thursday morning school show or a packed full-price house on Saturday night, Bloom truly believed that every artist deserved an appreciative audience.

Bloom’s vision and efforts created audiences of paying customers for thousands of circus artists, which in turn created paychecks and allowed commerce to flourish, supporting the circus arts. It is for these reasons, and many more, that he is honored on the Circus Ring of Fame, as a true legend in the live event industry.

In conclusion, Allen J. Bloom’s legacy as a trailblazer and visionary in the live event industry is unparalleled. His rise from humble beginnings to becoming a towering figure in the circus world and his unwavering commitment to excellence and humanity will always be remembered and celebrated on the Circus Ring of Fame.