Angelo Nicholas (better known as “Count Nicholas”), was born Aug. 31,
1910, in Volos, Greece. Angelo became one of the most famous circus
ringmasters in America.
As a youth Nicholas Emigrated to the United States.
In 1927 at age 16 Nicholas joined the Ringling Brothers and Barnum &
Bailey Circus in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Nicholas’ first job on the circus
was as a usher, seating audiences as they came into the big top. Circus
Ringmaster Fred Bradna, who had been with RBBB since 1919, took a liking to
the youth. Bradna was idealized by the young Nicholas and soon became his
Nicholas was with the RBBB during the tragic Hartford Fire in 1944.
In 1951 Count Nicholas became the ringmaster of the Ringling Brothers and
Barnum & Bailey Circus and continued in that position until 1955.
On August 31 1954 (His 44 birthday) “the Count” was presented with a
gold whistle by fellow performers. After leaving Ringling, Count Nicholas
served as ringmaster on many large circuses, including the Clyde Beatty Cole
Bros. Circus. In 1967 Nicholas was hired by the James E. Strates Shows (a
large railroad carnival), as their Ambassador of good will. In this position
the Count met with the press, gave interviews and promoted the rich history
of the show which had started as a small carnival in 1910. Count Nicholas
died on Jun. 20, 2001, at