GEORGE A. HAMID, SR., the late, great figure in outdoor show business was born in the little town of Broumana, Lebanon in February 1896. His education consisted of three grades in a primitive Arab school. He learned tumbling on the dirt streets of Broumana just as American boys learned baseball on the dirt diamonds of the rural U.S.
In 1907, knowing there was no future for George in Lebanon, his Grandmother sent the youngster to join his uncle’s acrobatic troupe, then touring with the Buffalo Bill Wild west show in Marseilles, France.
The following year, he arrived in the United States. He was taught to read and write English by Annie Oakley and given his show business A B C’s by Buffalo Bill. “As the twig grows, so grows the tree” – and nothing ever replaced Hamid’s first love – the CIRCUS.
At thirteen, Hamid won the Acrobatic World Championship. At seventeen, he owned his own act, and in 1920, he entered the act booking business. He developed the world’s largest agency for circus and outdoor talent that specialized in State and County Fairs. He also aided in directing seven County Fairs and three State Fairs during the period from 1931 through 1941. During this time, he purchased the Million Dollar Pier in Atlantic City, NJ. Hamid thus became the recognized American authority on Fairs, Circuses and Expositions.
In 1936, Hamid took over control and ownership of the New Jersey State Fair and in 1945 he acquired control of Atlantic City’s famed Steel Pier – featuring the world famous High Diving Horse and outdoor circus staged one-half mile at sea.
1932 was a pivotal year for Hamid when he, along with veteran Circus Producer, Bob Morton, combined their respective shows and formed HAMID-MORTON CIRCUS. This sawdust spectacular continues today under the guidance of Hamid’s grandson and great-grandson and is recognized as the preeminent leader in sponsored circuses.
HAMID CIRCUS, INC., the successor to HAMID-MORTON, can look back on its founder, George A. Hamid, Sr., with pride, knowing he blazed the path making it possible for it to sit atop the lofty perch it resides on today.
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