This animal trainer's popular circus act involved entrusting predatory animals with his life.
He left home at age 18 to work at a circus as a cage attendant, and a year later he formed his first animal act.
Best known for his fighting act, in which he entered the ring with a whip and pistol, he often brought in lions, tigers, and hyenas - and frequently all three at once.
He was born in Bainbridge, Ohio and was raised by his single mother, Margaret. He helped the family out with odd jobs around the city.
His book The Big Cage became a popular movie starring a young Mickey Rooney.