Skip Navigation

Thank You, 72 – Bill Schultz

The son of a circus performer, Bill Schultz ’48 loved to entertain crowds with his dexterity and feats of strength.

As a marine during World War II, he helped raise money for war bonds by boxing and wrestling Hollywood actors, including legendary western star John Wayne.

After the war, he enrolled at UW–Madison, where he studied physical education and led the gymnastics team to a Big Ten title. During football and basketball games, he entertained halftime crowds with cartwheels and handstands — some performed on the rafters of the Wisconsin Field House.

In 1972, he became executive director of the Circus World in Baraboo, helping to preserve circus history for generations. This summer, Circus World is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

In this edition of the Thank You, 72 podcast, Executive Director Scott O’Donnell and Performance Director and Ringmaster Dave SaLoutos share stories about Bill and his amazing legacy that is Circus World.

Related News and Stories

UW grad Hans Obma ’02 describes his ability to use languages and accents to play a variety of characters in an acting career that has taken off.

Known as the father of Earth Day, Nelson championed the protection of our environment as Wisconsin’s governor, and later U.S. senator.