Thanks to Hugh Jackman portraying him in the wildly popular The Greatest Showman, P.T. Barnum has been rediscovered by modern audiences. And whether you know him as an entrepreneur or as a huckster, there’s no doubting the impact that the man had on popular culture. But while Jackman’s on-screen performance stayed true to life, there are certain things that the film just couldn’t include. These 40 seldom heard facts show just how little we really know about the “Prince of Humbug.”
40. His taste for hoaxes came at an early age
We all know that Barnum loved a good hoax, and he likely developed this appreciation after being hoodwinked himself early in life. As a boy, Barnum was led to believe he was “the richest child in town” by his grandfather. And he even promised the future circus-leader that he’d inherit a precious plot of ground in adulthood. Nevertheless, the young man soon discovered both of these claims to be untrue. But, encouraged by the pleasure his family gained from the prank, Barnum learned a valuable lesson in chicanery instead.