Alice Elizabeth Doherty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Alice Doherty
Doherty as a child
Born(1887-03-14)March 14, 1887
DiedJune 13, 1933(1933-06-13) (aged 46)
NationalityUnited States of America
Other namesAlice Elizabeth Doherty, "The Minnesota Woolly Girl"
  • Aloysius Doherty (father)

Alice Elizabeth Doherty (14 March 1887 – 13 June 1933) was born in Minneapolis and is the only known person with hypertrichosis lanuginosa born in the United States.[1][2][3][4]

Doherty as a teenager

Doherty was born with approximately two-inch long blonde hair all over her body. None of her relatives are known to have had a similar condition. She had blue eyes. Alice was exhibited by her parents as a sideshow attraction from as early as two years old. Later she was presented commercially by her mother and Professor Weller’s One-Man Band throughout the Midwestern United States. She was consistently shown as a stand alone exhibit in store front exhibitions. By the time she was five years old, her hair grew to about 5 inches, eventually increasing to about 9 inches by the time she was a teenager. Doherty was never interested in entertainment, but continued to perform to support her family, anxiously awaiting retirement. [2]

Although the hypertrichosis condition is very rare, other individuals like Fedor Jeftichew ("Jo-Jo the Dog-faced Man"), Stephan Bibrowski ("Lionel the Lion-faced Man"), Jesus "Chuy" Aceves ("Wolfman"), and Annie Jones ("the bearded woman") are known for similar appearances. Hypertrichosis has many different variations, including differences in causation. Many of the above listed performers suffered from genetic variation, while Doherty did not. Another difference between Doherty and many other performers with similar conditions is that she suffered from hypertrichosis langinosa, meaning she had hair growth over her entire body and not just concentrated in one place. [5]

Doherty retired from the entertainment business in 1915 and died of unknown causes in Dallas, Texas on June 13, 1933.


  1. ^ "Sideshow World, Sideshow Performers from around the world". Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  2. ^ a b "Alice Doherty - The Minnesota Woolly Girl". Circus Freaks and Human Oddities. 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  3. ^ "Alice Doherty | Show History". Archived from the original on 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  4. ^ "#confirmed". #confirmed. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  5. ^ Wendelin, Daniel (2003). "Hypertrichosis". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 48: 161–179, 182.