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The Zacchini Brothers
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Circus Performer
    Eduardo Zacchini (March 27, 1894-October 3, 1981)
    Hugo Zacchini (October 20, 1898-October 20, 1975)/n /Human cannonballs and acrobats
    Performed with the Zacchini Circus and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus
    Inducted into the International Circus Hall of Fame (1975)
    They are often erroneously credited as the first human cannonball act. Actually, the first human cannonball was a fourteen year old girl name Zazel in 1877.
    The first time Eduardo was launched from the cannon, he broke his leg.
    He broke his leg an additional four times before retiring from the act.
    During World War II, they trained two of their sisters to take their place in the circus.
    They and their father Ildebrando designed the modern circus cannon, which launches the performer using compressed air instead of the springs used in earlier cannons, allowing the performer to travel a greater distance.
    They were part of a case that went to the Supreme Court when they sued an Ohio TV station that filmed and broadcast their entire act without permission. The Supreme Court sided 5-4 with the brothers, ruling that airing the entire act was a violation of common-law copyright.
    Hugo was also an accomplished sculptor and an interpreter for eleven languages.

Credit: C. Fishel


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