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Gunther Gebel-Williams
Born September 12, 1934(1934-09-12)
Died July 19, 2001 (aged 66)
Venice, Florida
Cause of death Brain tumor
Occupation Animal trainer
Children Mark Oliver Gebel

Gunther Gebel-Williams (September 12, 1934 - July 19, 2001) was an animal trainer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1968-1990.


Early life

Gebel was born in Schweidnitz, Lower Silesia, Germany. As a child he and his mother became refugees when the communists took over Silesia. His father was still missing in the Soviet Union when he and his mother started working for Zirkus Williams in Germany in 1947. When the Zirkus owner suddenly died, his widow asked Gunther to train and take over which began his career as an animal trainer. Gunther Gebel took on the additional family name of Williams.


Gebel-Williams was a well-known circus animal trainer. He came to prominence during the early days of television when the circus was still a popular form of entertainment. His appearances on television shows like the Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, in addition to his work with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, accelerated his renown as a tamer primarily of elephants and tigers. Gunther Gebel-Williams has a son, Mark Oliver Gebel, and a daughter, Tina Gebel-DelMoral. Their mother is Sigrid Gebel.


He died on July 19, 2001 in Venice, Florida under the name "Gunther Gebel".[1]

External links


  1. ^ "Animal trainer Gebel-Williams dies". CNN. July 20, 2001. Retrieved 2008-07-20. "Gunther Gebel-Williams, the world-renowned circus animal trainer, died of cancer Thursday at his home in Venice, Florida. He was 66 years old and had been undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, a spokeswoman for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus said."  


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