There’s a sucker born every minute. P.T. Barnum ← Dictionary of Quotes

There’s a sucker born every minute. P.T. Barnum 6


There’s a sucker born every minute.
Ignorance
Quotations by P.T. Barnum

6 thoughts on “There’s a sucker born every minute. P.T. Barnum

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  2. Reply Contributor jan 4, 2010 10:32

    Wrong attribution. PT Barnum never said that. The actual source was his competitor David Hannum.

    • Reply dicocitations jan 4, 2010 11:22

      Thanks !

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There%27s_a_sucker_b

      There's a sucker born every minute" is a phrase often credited to P.T. Barnum (1810 – 1891), an American showman. It is generally taken to mean that there are (and always will be) a lot of gullible people in the world.

      When Barnum's biographer tried to track down when Barnum had uttered this phrase, all of Barnum's friends and acquaintances told him it was out of character. Barnum's credo was more along the lines of "there's a customer born every minute" — he wanted to find ways to draw new customers in all the time because competition was fierce and people could become bored easily.[citation needed]

      While some sources claim the quote is most likely from famous con-man Joseph ("Paper Collar Joe") Bessimer,[1], other sources say it was actually uttered by David Hannum, spoken in reference to Barnum's part in the Cardiff Giant hoax. Hannum, who was exhibiting the "original" giant and had unsuccessfully sued Barnum for exhibiting a copy and claiming it was the original, was referring to the crowds continuing to pay to see Barnum's exhibit even after both it and the original had been proven to be fakes.

      In turn, Barnum's fellow circus owner and arch-rival Adam Forepaugh attributed the quote to Barnum in a newspaper interview in an attempt to discredit him. However, Barnum never denied making the quote. It is said that he thanked Forepaugh for the free publicity he had given him.[citation needed]

      Yet another source credits late 1860s Chicago "bounty broker, saloon and gambling-house keeper, eminent politician, and dispenser of cheating privileges…" Michael Cassius McDonald as the originator of the aphorism. According to the book Gem of the Prairie: Chicago Underworld (1940) by Herbert Asbury, when McDonald was equipping his gambling house known as The Store (at Clark and Monroe Streets in Chicago) his partner Harry Lawrence expressed concern over the large number of roulette wheels and faro tables being installed and their ability to get enough players to play the games. McDonald then allegedly said, "Don't worry about that, there's a sucker born every minute

  3. Reply dicocitations jan 4, 2010 11:24

    http://www.historybuff.com/library/refbarnum.html

    P. T. Barnum is most often associated with the circus sideshow and the display of freaks. While this is true, he is also the founding force behind one of America's most famous circuses: Barnum & Bailey Circus. Barnum is also affiliated with the famous quote "There's a sucker born every minute." History, unfortunately, has misdirected this quotation. Barnum never did say it. Actually, it was said by his competitor. Here's the incredible story.

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