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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Press Release/Photos

For Immediate Release/Contact: Tim O’Brien at 615-496-5949,


Now on Sale

Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow!

Celebrating the King’s 70th Year in Show Business

The first-ever biography of the man who has helped shape the American Circus Sideshow into what it has become today. Among other oddities, he has worked with monkey girls, half-people, fat men, sword swallowers, fire eaters, giants, colossal snakes, huge rats and diminutive horses. In addition to owning dozens of sideshow and circuses during his long career, Ward has written four books, four musical stage productions, has appeared in seven movies, and more than 100 videos and TV specials, performed at Madison Square Garden and Lincoln Center in New York City and has sung at Carnegie Hall.

Ward has the memory of an elephant, the exaggerative dialogue of a Ginsu Knife salesman and a sequined wardrobe that would have made Liberace turn his head.


He joined his first circus in 1944 when he was a 14-year-old kid living in Colorado. A year later, as a 15 year old 10th grade dropout, he ran away for good, joining the Dailey Bros. Circus. He never looked back. By 16 he was performing in a sideshow and by age 21, he owned a sideshow!

Today, 70 years later and countless circus and sideshow, Vaudeville and burlesque house performances under his belt, Ward Hall is still in the business. Now 84, he is the undisputed King of the Sideshow.

The Advance Reviews are In!

“Prepare to be amazed! Within this fascinating history of one of the greatest entertainers alive, author Tim O’Brien artfully captures the spectacle of the great Ward Hall’s sideshows over the course of two centuries. Told with all the substance of a scholarly text delightfully written for all audiences, readers will find themselves swept like Dorothy Gale on a whirlwind tour of countless carnivals and circuses across an America filled with all the colors, marvels, and oddities you’d expect of L. Frank Baum’s Oz.” – Jacopo della Quercia, author of The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy

“With a keen eye for the telling detail Tim O’Brien does a masterful job bringing to light one of the last great characters in sideshow history. The advance men may have brought in the crowds, but it was the intoxicating banter from men like Ward Hall that sold them the tickets!” – Jamie MacVicar, author of The Advance Man: A Journey Into the World of the Circus

“Many observers have tried to capture in words and pictures the fleeting, magnetic image of impresario Ward Hall. Few, if any, have gained greater insight to the highly unorthodox life and times of the King of the Sideshow than Tim O’Brien, a veteran scribe of the carnival and circus industry. To paraphrase Ward’s clarion call to the would-be patrons of his kingdom of freaks and illusions, don’t miss this big book! – Lane Talburt, Circus historian

“The United States of America gave the world Rock and Roll and The American Sideshow. Rock and Roll is Elvis Presley; The American Sideshow is Ward Hall. You know a lot about Elvis; You need to know more about Ward. This book is a great start.” – Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller)

“I can think of no better person to chronicle the life and times of the last great sideshow impresario than Tim O’Brien. Besides being a magnificent writer, Tim has a deep understanding and appreciation of the world of the American sideshow. I truly enjoyed reading this book.” – Todd Robbins, Showman

“As an experienced writer of entertainment and amusement history, Tim O’Brien’s direct path to the heart and soul of Ward Hall allows us to be exposed to the daily trials, tragedies and achievements of the showman that we have not seen or read before.” – Ralph D. Pierce, Robert L. Parkinson Library & Research Center, Circus World Museum

“Ward Hall: Once heard, never forgotten!” – Johnny Meah, banner painter, veteran showman


About the Author:  Tim O’Brien is a veteran photo-journalist who has chronicled the outdoor amusement business industry for more than 30 years during which time he has published more than 5,000 articles, 3,000 photos, and 13 books. He has known Ward for 25 years. For more information, go to


Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow!
The Official Biography by Tim O’Brien

Casa Flamingo Literary Arts, LLC, Nashville, TN
May 20, 2014/262 Pages/100+ Photos & Illustrations

Softcover price: $24.99/ ISBN: 978-0-9743324-2-0

Hardcover price: $35.99/ISBN: 978-0-9743324-3-7

Order online at or direct from the author at
Also available by special order through most book stores in the US

Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow! is distributed by Ingram Global Publishers Service and is available throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, European Union, and Russia.

To schedule an interview with author Tim O’Brien, contact him directly at

Below are downloadable photos to be used only with stories, reviews, comments about the book, Ward Hall – King of the Sideshow! Click on photo to go to downloadable, high resolution image. Please credit the photographer of each as seen in title of photo. The photos are copyrighted by the photographer.

If there are any problems, please contact Tim O’Brien immediately at 615-496-5949.

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