Johnny Fox, legend of the sideshow community, dies at 64

December 20, 2017

Sword-swallower and sideshow legend Johnny Fox has died from liver cancer at age 64. Fox had performed his act on The Late Show with David Letterman, as well as many years working at Coney Island and at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. He also ran the Freakatorium, a now-closed museum dedicated to sideshow culture from 1999 to 2005.

“He was one of the finest examples of a sideshow virtuoso as well as being a celebrity within our own culture,” said Patrick Wall, general manager for the Coney Island USA nonprofit.

Fox was a great inspiration to the sideshow community. “Gratitude and optimism and being content have gotten me through so much of my life, and if I can share those things with others and help each other out…we’re all in this crazy world together,” he told NPR in an October interview.