FAMOUS PIGEON FANCIERS
THIS LIST HAS BEEN COMPILED FROM INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY THE WORLD WIDE MEMBERSHIP OF THE PIGEON MAILING LIST. IF YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER PIGEON FANCIERS WHO ARE FAMOUS FOR SOMETHING BESIDES PIGEONS OR CAN PROVIDE FURTHER INFORMATION ON ANYONE MENTIONED HERE, PLEASE LET US KNOW. TO JOIN US ON THE LIST SEE THE FOOT OF THIS PAGE.
Scott Baio:U.S Actor, Played in TV Show, Happy Days and many other series over the years. He had flying Flights in Brooklyn with his dad.
Terry Bradshaw: (Racing Homers). Four time Super Bowl quarter back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, of American football and now TV Sports commentator.
Prince Bernard of the Netherlands, Consort of Queen Juliana and father of Queen Beatrix. Prince Bernhard has his own loft with pigeons which are raced during the season and also very often show up at racing pigeon shows, The loft has a special proprietary card with a little crown on it which shows that that is a pigeon form the royal loft, these are often sold on charity exhibitions in the Netherlands. Prince Bernhard is also one of the leaders of the Dutch World Nature Federation (WNF) which is a sub division of the WWF.
Marlon Brando (Actor)
Yul Bryner (Actor) Kept several fancy breeds including Oriental Rollers at his home in France.
Bles Bridges (Singer), the most well known Afrikaans singer in South Africa owned some great Stichelbauts (Racing Homers).
Willi Brandt, former German Chancellor, was a keen pigeon fancier. As a Socialist (Social Democrat) he had to flee Germany under the Nazis and did so by going to Norway. After the war he returned to Germany, eventually became mayor of Berlin and ultimately the first Social Democrat Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Irene Brown who keeps Homers and Danzig Highfliers. She's famous for her studies upon pigeons. (Cornell University, NY, USA)
Andy Capp (World Famous English cartoon character) Racing Homers.
Tony Curtis: There is a long held story of two famous actors chasing big game fishing in the Southwest of Western Australia, the port of Albany to be exact. Before the whaling station was closed and probably now almost 30 years ago, there were huge white pointer sharks frequenting the area and our two actors were allegedly down there chasing them. Word has it that one of our well known Albany fanciers was paid a visit by the pair, in their spare time, asking to see his pigeons. A knock on the door and he opened it to front Lee Marvin and Tony Curtis.
Charles Darwin, Scientist and Author whose writings include " On the Origin of Species (1859) The Descent Of Man (1871), The Voyage Of The Beagle (1909)" and a "A variety of plants and animals under domestication". Together with Wallace, offered the theory of evolution. Darwin kept all kinds of breeds and who showed us that all breeds can be traced to Columba livia, the wild rock dove. He had a loft with a variety of fancy breeds which he used to experiment and develop his hypothesis of "Theory of Domestication" using selective breeding techniques. He was an active member of some London pigeon clubs, and reference to his pigeons and his scientific results is published and available on-line. Hans questions whether there was a "theory of domestication" as such.
Andy Devine (Actor) (Racing Homers) reported to have been in the same racing club as Roy Rogers.
Walt Disney. Famous for his "white" birds. They were some of the original Belgian Pletinckx of the early '60's. They are reportedly beautiful, very fast, and cross well with other strains including Stassarts, Devriendts, and Janssens .The lofts are still maintained at Disneyland in Southern California (Anehiem) and the birds are still flown & displayed. The lofts there are reported to be part of the parks original architecture. The loft at Disney World is on the property. There are also lofts at Disney World in Florida although here the lofts and birds are maintained by a fancier who lives a short distance from the park. The California State Racing Pigeon Organization has a flying award (The Disney award) that was originally sponsored by him or started in his honour. Walt Disney was awarded the NPA Levi Service Award for the movie "Pigeon Fly Home".
Gerald Durrel of the Jersey Wildlife Fund who rescued the Pink pigeon from near extinction. He is perhaps best known as the author of "My Family and Other Animals".
Clint Eastwood (Actor) (Rollers). At least there was a Clint Eastwood that raised rollers (maybe still does) but there is some question as to whether this is the same one as of Dirty Harry Fame.
Queen Elizabeth II (English Monarch). Maintains one of the world's best known and highly successful teams of Racing Homers at the Royal Lofts, Sandringham.
Jeff Fenech (World Champion Boxer): Former IBF Bantamweight Champion, Former WBC Super Bantamweight Champion, Former WBC Featherweight Champion. Purchased Rollers from Sydney Performing Roller Club ... Our informant believes his son raises them.
George Foreman, (World Champion Boxer) was very interested in racing pigeons and did get some from George Girdler in Texas.
Virginia Graham: U.S. talk show host years ago. Breed unknown.
Maurizo Gucci is a famous Italian fashion designer. His products are sold in the most upscale stores in the world. He is also a fancier of show pigeons who is on record as having paid more than $10,000 for an American bird.
Karl Hagenbeck, who kept all kinds of breeds at his zoo in Hamburg, Germany. Hagenbeck was the first or among the first to do away with cages at his zoo, using moats instead.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler: U.S Boxer. Rollers? Our informant states "Back in the 70s, I attended a pigeon show at Joe Curran's House in Worcester, Massachusetts, where I met a young man, named Marvin who was suppose to be an up and coming boxer. Years later, I was told that Marvin mentioned his love for pigeons in an interview".
Prof. Herbst (He is a Racing Horse owner and won the biggest and most prestigious horse race in Africa (the Durban July) this year with his horse Classic Flag. Made him a Millionaire (again) overnight.
Dr. Willard F. Hollander, who knows more about the genetic make-up of pigeons than anyone else alive.
Alan Jordaan, Manager of the South African Cricket Team (Racing Homers).
Bill Lawry (Former Australian Test Cricket Captain now TV Commentator) (Racing Homers)
Michael Landon produced and starred in the movie "Where Pigeons Go to Die". It also starred Art Carney. The film was mostly made in Kansas where they contacted Bill Bonwell, who was then AU Legal Advisor. Mr. Bonwell and the racing fanciers in Kansas supplied most of the pigeons for the movie. At the same time Jim Jenner was in the process of producing "Marathon in the Sky" and Bonwell put Landon & Jenner in contact with each other. Jenner loaned Landon the aerial pigeon shots in exchange for Landon narrating "Marathon in the Sky". He is reported to have been a very avid fancier and flyer.
Gypsy Rose Lee (famous Burlesque Dancer) (fantails).
Dickie Loader (Pop singer) from Dickie Loader and the Blue Jeans raced some of the old Gits strains before flying the Slimme/puts down in Durban.
Lee Marvin: There is a long held story of two famous actors chasing big game fishing in the Southwest of Western Australia, the port of Albany to be exact. Before the whaling station was closed and probably now almost 30 years ago, there were huge white pointer sharks frequenting the area and our two actors were allegedly down there chasing them. Word has it that one of our well known Albany fanciers was paid a visit by the pair, in their spare time, asking to see his pigeons. A knock on the door and he opened it to front Lee Marvin and Tony Curtis.
Willie Mays: U.S. Baseball Player. I don't know if Willie had, or has pigeons, but he appeared in ad that ran in the Pigeon Debut, for the Flight Club around the New York City area.
Monet also kept pigeons,
Wayne Newton. Or as he is called here in Las Vegas, Mr.Las Vegas. a famous American entertainer that had pigeons as a boy. He had homers,rollers,tumblers,and high flyers.
Noah, who released some pigeons after the great flood to see if land was near.
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward once raised Jacobins (they still might). However at the one show they attended they were "swamped" by fans in the showroom. Ms Woodward was very interested in pigeon racing and competition, but this incident turned them off.
The Counts Orloff of the early part of this century (Russia). They imported rare(r) breeds of pigeons from the Middle East and parts of the Russian empire and are credited for having "maintained" them.
Johnny Otis of California. Johnny is a jazz/rhythm and blues musician, who, along with other musicians of his era, is credited with developing the beginnings of rock n' roll. Johnny (around 70 years of age) continues to breed Saxon Fairy Swallows (Wing Pigeons) and has strong ties with Southern California Color Pigeon breeders such as Bill Griebel and Leon Stephens. He also continues to perform his music and was recently nominated for a Grammy Award..
Pablo Picasso, who kept Fantails. Picasso loved pigeons so much that he named his daughter Paloma, which means pigeon in Spanish. Picasso's father also kept pigeons and specialised in painting the same.
Ray Price --Country singer (Racing Homers)
Roy Rogers (Actor) (Racing Homers)
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanova III, the Batiushka-Tsar of Russia kept his pigeons in a house like a small palace at Gatchina until his sad and surprising death in the Crimea in 1894. These pigeons were named "Ostanski Golubi" and "Pokrovski" that he acquired from his brother Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich Romanova after watching them fly as the young Tsarevich at Tsarskoe Selo.
Suleiman the Magnificent, who kept fancy breeds at his palace in Instanbul, Turkey.
Nicola Tesla. , American electricity pioneer. He designed the hydro-electric plant at Niagra Falls for Westinghouse. Our informant says "I don't think he raised or bred them, but I know he loved pigeons. He was kicked out of a few high brow Hotels for that, he would bring in injured birds and try to rehab them in the room. There are a number of references in the books on this marvellous man. Any way he was definately a pigeon fancier."
Mike Tyson (Former World Champion Boxer) (Flights Rollers and Clean Leg Tumblers) At one time belonged to the Eastern Tumbler Club. Still has a mixed stock of many kinds of pigeons
Boet Troskie (Famous for the movie he made "THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY")
Jimmy Smits of the US TV show NYPD blues. He is also reputed to have narrated the second video on pigeons produced by Jenner "our oldest feathered friend". He made an appearance at the NPA National this year. Racing Homers is his game. There is a picture at the bottom of the highlites page at www.prioritysolutions.com/pigeonmag
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman once raised Jacs (they still might). However at the one show they attended they were "swamped" by fans in the showroom. Ms Woodward was very interested in pigeon racing and competition, but this incident turned them off.
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