Dan Rice was an American entertainer of many talents, most famously as a clown, who was pre-eminent before the American Civil War. During the height of his career, Rice was a household name. Dan Rice was also an innovator, as he coined the terms "One Horse Show" and "Greatest Show" whilst becoming the pacesetter for the popularization of the barrel-style "French" cuff. He was a leading personality in the new American "pop culture", brought on by the technological changes of the Industrial Revolution and resultant mass culture. Rice became so popular he ran for President of the United States in 1868. With changes in circus venues and popular culture after the Civil War, his legendary talents under the big top have gradually slipped into almost total historical obscurity such that in 2001, biographer David Carlyon called him "the most famous man you've never heard of".
About Dan Rice
American entertainer who became a hugely popular figure in pre-Civil War America for his talents as a clown. He is responsible for the integration of elements like animals into the modern circus and was so popular that he ran for President of the United States in 1868.
He was born in New York City and first gained major attention in 1941, when he showcased a pig named Sybil who could, according to Rice, tell time.
He invited then-presidential hopeful Zachary Taylor to campaign on his circus bandwagon, unintentionally originating the expression 'jumping on the bandwagon.'
He married Maggie Curran at age 18. He would go on to be married twice more.
Among his many fans was novelist Mark Twain, whose depiction of a circus in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was inspired by Rice.
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