Peggy Williams began her career as the first woman graduate of the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Clown College.

She is now the Education Outreach Manager at Feld Entertainment. Her love of education and spreading positivity motivated her to pursue a career within the circus. After her graduation in 1970, Williams recalls on countless experiences in which she was able to do just that. From performing for orphaned children during the Vietnam War, to hosting a clothing drive after Hurricane Andrew, Williams is forever grateful for her time with Ringling Circus.

Even as the apprentice to Lou Jacobs, Williams said she still had to work hard to attain status as a “girl” in show business. 

From here, Williams offers a backstage look into the logistics of shows, lighting technicalities, animal management etc. Williams is forever indebted to the opportunities granted to her in the circus. Its not about money for her, its about giving service, and spreading positivity to those in the most need of it.

Her goal to allow people to “forget the world for a minute” can be felt through her continual work with Feld Entertainment. “The circus is a lifestyle; and in it is a passion for other people”.

This program was made possible with support from the Tampa Bay History Museum and the Osher LIfelong Learning Institue at USF.


ccculturebuildsfloridaClosed captioning for this program has been made possible by support from
the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs
and the Florida Council on Arts & Culture.