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Friday, August 4, 2017

Clown Week : Emmett Kelly

Emmett Kelly one of Americas most famous and recognizable clowns was born December 9, 1898. Kelly's family was a railroader who worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad. Kelly's mother ran a boarding house for the railroad. In 1905 Kelly's parents packed up and moved to a small farm in Missouri.

Emmett Kelly had a dream of becoming a professional cartoonist and once worked for a silent film company in kansas City Missouri. It was while working as a cartoonist that Kelly created the clown character of "Weary Willie". It would be the clown that would bring fame to Kelly after he could not find work as a cartoonist.

Emmett Kelly ran away and joined the circus. In reality he did join "Howe's Great London Circus" He was first put to work painting circus wagons but soon he would find other work. From the trapeze he found love in his first wife who was also a trapeze artist. The marriage would last 12 years and during this time they would perform as the "Aerial Kellys"

Emmett would work for a few different circus companies. In 1933 whilee working for the Hageenback Wallace Circus he would be introduced as "Weary Willie" The hobo clown would find a spot in the Ringling Brothrs and Barnum & Bailey Circus. From thee circus he would also find fame in moviees, children books and commercialism.

Emmett Kelly would move on and find love again. He would never retire finding new routines til his death. On March 28, 1979 Emmett Kelly would die of a heart attack at his home in Sarasota Florida. Red Skelton a lifetime friend of Kelly's would comment " I guess those in Heaven needed a laugh"

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