April 19, 1918|
|Died||September 6, 1984
|Known for||Owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus|
|Spouse(s)||Adele Schwartz Feld|
|Children||Kenneth Jeffrey Feld
Karen Irma Feld
|Relatives||Israel Feld (brother), Fannie Feld (sister), Zelda Feld Fribush (sister), Doris Feld Goldstein (sister), Freda Miriam Feld Arenson (sister)|
Irvin Feld (May 9, 1918 – September 6, 1984) was an American businessman. He was the head of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and founder of Feld Entertainment. He was a music promoter who is credited with discovering Paul Anka.
He was born on April 19, 1918 in Hagerstown, Maryland to Russian-Jewish immigrants. After ten years as one of several national promoters for the Ringling Circus, Feld, along with his brother Israel Feld and Houston Judge Roy Hofheinz bought it on November 11, 1967 for $8 million. In 1968, he began the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. He sold the circus to Mattel in 1971 for $50 million in Mattel stock. He bought it back from Mattel in 1982.
Personal life and legacy
In 1946, he married Adele Feld. In 1958 she committed suicide. The circus passed to his son Kenneth Feld, who had joined the company in 1970. In 1987, he was inducted into the International Circus Hall of Fame.
- "Feld Stewardship". Feld Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
On November 11, 1967, his dream became reality as the Feld family purchased Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey from John Ringling North.
- Irvin Feld's Kevo
- Washington Post: "Kenneth and Karen Feld's Sibling Rivalry Is Headed to Court" By Richard Leiby March 27, 2009
- "Feld Family Buys Ringling Bros". Associated Press in New York Times. March 19, 1982. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
Mattel Inc. said that it had sold Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows Inc. for $22.8 million to a family that had owned the circus and has been in its management for 26 years. Two members of the family, Irvin Feld and his son, Kenneth, said that the deal included the circus, Ice Follies, Holiday on Ice and the new Walt Disney's World on Ice. ...Irvin Feld was a record and music promoter and music store chain owner before becoming involved with the circus in 1956. In 1967, he and a brother acquired the company's total assets from the Ringling and North families for $8 million. Two years later, the circus became a publicly held corporation, and in 1971 the company was sold to Mattel for $50 million in stock.
- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: 130 Years of Tradition, Excitement and Wonder
- "Irvin Feld, Owner of Ringling Bros. Circus, Dies". Hartford Courant. September 7, 1984. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
Irvin Feld, once hailed as the "greatest showman on earth" and the owner, chairman and producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, died here Thursday. He was 66.
- "American Impresario Irvin Feld Dies; Was Owner of Ringling Bros. Circus". Washington Post. September 7, 1984. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
Irvin Feld, 66, the son of East European immigrants who grew up to be a major American impresario and an heir in spirit to the legendary P.T. Barnum as the owner and operator of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, died yesterday in a Venice, Fla., hospital.
- "The Call of the Circus". New York Times. August 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
My grandfather Irvin Feld was a promoter. He bought Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1967. My father, Kenneth, joined the company, now Feld Entertainment, in 1970 and is C.E.O.
- People: "'Lord of the Rings' Irvin Feld Has Made a Fading Circus the Greatest Show on Earth Again" By Dolly Langdon May 12, 1980
- "International Circus Hall of Fame inductees". International Circus Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
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