Archives On The Air 91: The Man Of A Thousand Experiences—Courtney Ryley Cooper Papers

Jan 14, 2019

"A journalist, an actor, a clown, a crime expert, and an elephant tamer" may sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but this is actually the resume of one notable person: Courtney Ryley Cooper.

Cooper was born in 1886 and came to be known as 'the man of a thousand experiences."

Cooper worked as a clown for a local circus at the age of 15. He then worked as a glove salesman, a truck driver, and a shipping clerk.

By age 29 Cooper had been a writer for newspapers in Kansas, Chicago, New York, and Denver.

In Denver, Cooper wrote for The Denver Post. At the time the Denver Post owned Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and the Sells-Floto circus.

With his experience Cooper became the manager of the Sells-Floto circus. He died in 1940.

You can learn about the man of a thousand experiences in the Courtney Ryley Cooper papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.