Stephan Bibrowski is one of the most popular performers in Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The "greatest show in the world" is a combination of the top two circus shows in the early 20th century. One of the most famous performers of the show is a man. called Stephan Bibrowksi, he is also known as Lionel the Lion-faced Man (The Lion-Faced Man).
During the 20th century, people preferred circus performances from people with different looks. These artists are often called "mystical monsters" because of their different faces and figures.
Bibrowski is no exception when his entire body is covered with hair and feathers. The circus Barnum & Bailey introduced him as a "lion" and later became known as Lionel the Lion-Faced Man.
These circus executives have been accused of taking advantage of other people's differences to force them to make money for themselves. However, there is no denying that the circus has given these abandoned people a completely different life.
Bibrowski is one of the few people who truly loves his circus career. He spent most of his life performing for the Barnum & Bailey circus , touring the world and becoming a household name. However, no one knows much about this man.
Bibrowski is one of the few people who truly loves his circus career.
Most of the information about him came from familiar audiences and a circus show researcher, Francine Hornberger.
In a book called Carny Folk, Francine Hornberger said that before Stephan Bibrowski was a street performer, he was just a person suffering from a rare disease called hypertrichosis (werewolf disease, werewolf disease). This condition causes hair and body hair growth to occur all over the body, causing itching and burning.
Bibrowski was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1890. From birth, Bibrowski's body had a layer of silky blonde hair covered. His mother argued that her son's condition was the result of having to suffer a violent husband like a lion every day while pregnant.
Instead of continuing to raise the oddly shaped child, Bibrowski's mother gave him to a local financier and businessman named Sedlmayer when he was 4 years old. The businessman immediately saw Bibrowski's potential and sought to put him in the circus.
In 1901, Sedlmayer brought Bibrowski to the United States. Here, Bibrowski was noticed by the circus Barnum & Bailey.
He was quickly recruited into a circus circus. Here, he performed acrobatics and talked to the audience. For the next 19 years, Stephen Bibrowski followed Barnum & Bailey Circus to perform around the world.
Barnum & Bailey circus members.
By 1920, Bibrowski settled in the United States for some time and continued to perform on New York's Coney Island.
Different from the somewhat scary look in Bibrowski, he was a very gentle and kind person. He has the desire to become a dentist. Many people said that he is very intelligent and can speak 5 languages.
Shortly after becoming a German citizen in 1932, Lionel died. According to reports, he has no wife and children.
Although there is not a lot of reliable news regarding Bibrowski, some say that his mother never gave up on him and she just let him realize his own dream. They believe that Bibrowski's parents are the most important people in his life.
Others argue that Bibrowski liked his appearance and felt that it made him more interesting. There was a story that spread that, one night Bibrowski's hotel in New York was on fire, he was the first to escape. The man with the lion face allegedly stated that, if his hair were gone, he would be just an ordinary man.
In any case, the story of Lionel the Lion-Faced Man is a mystery to many.