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May Wirth

May Wirth

Adoptee May Wirth (1894-1978) was an Australian circus performer, famous for somersaults while riding a horse.

May was born in Bundagberg Queensland. Her mother, Dezeppo Marie, left her father, circus performer John Zinga when the children were small. May was put up for adoption and in 1901 was adopted by Mary Wirth. Mary was an equestrienne and sister of circus owners, Philip and George Wirth. May was performing in circus acts by the age of 10, billed as May Ringling.

May Wirth performed with Barnum and Bailey in the United States from 1912. May retired in 1937 and settled first in New York and then in Saraosta, Florida. She was inducted into the Circus Hall of Fame in 1963.

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