Circus Ring of Fame Wheel Plaque

William Lewis (Willie) Edelston

Inducted into the Ring of Fame: 2021

Circus Profession: Trapeze/Coach Sailor Circus

Born: 1923

Died: 2021

willie edelston Circus Ring Of Fame Foundation inductee

Willie Edelston – From early beginnings as the 1941 National YMCA Ring Champion, Willie Edelston had a love for performing. He served his country from 1942-1945 and then signed with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a flyer on the trapeze for the 1948-1949 season. Willie continued to perform for many years in various circus productions.

Willie discovered that his true love was training the next generations of circus performers. For more than 50 years, Willie volunteered at the Sailor Circus. Hundreds of students have benefited from his coaching. He taught flying trapeze, rings, tumbling, and hand-balancing. When asked why he is still so passionate about his teaching, Willie simply says, “I enjoy being around young people because they keep me young at heart and still standing vertical.”