Famous personalities that have kept pigeons
If you know of any other famous pigeon personalities please send me an E-mail.
With the kind permission of Charles Dismore
Noah - may not have raced pigeons because of the lack
of competitors, but we know he raised them.
Trevor Barker - Champion St Kilda footballer and captain,in the Victorian Football League kept and raced right up to his untimely
death a few years ago
John Scadden- former Premier of
Western Australia was well known for his race results especially in the long distance races
Roy Rogers - his pigeons may have helped inspire "Happy
Trails" (we would like to think so)
King George the V
Queen Elizabeth II - The royal lofts are still being
maintained today with Golden Jubilee One Loft Race and a website.
Elvis Presley - (The King of Rock n' Roll) Maybe that
famous leg shake came from watching a pigeon dance.
Ray Price - (country singer) still maintains birds in East Texas
Mike Tyson - (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
Terry Bradshaw - Champion quarter back (4 times in Super
Bowl) for Pittsburgh Steelers. Now a Sport Commentator.
Marlon Brando - (actor) How many pigeons do you imagine
have been named God Father?
Yul Bryner - (actor) I have seen a Bald Eagle but have
yet to lay eyes on a Bald Pigeon. Kept several fancy breeds including Oriental Rollers at his home in France.
Tony Curtis - (actor) 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
Charles Darwin - (theorist) 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) Reported to have been in the same
racing pigeon 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
(Anaheim) 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 honor. Walt Disney was awarded the
NPA Levi Service Award for the movie "Pigeon Fly Home".
George Foreman - (boxer) (World Champion Boxer) was very
interested in racing pigeons and did get some from George Girdler in Texas.
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
Marvelous Marvin Hagler - (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".
Michael Landon - (actor) 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.
Alan Jordaan - Manager of the South African Cricket Team
Gypsy Rose Lee - (Queen of Strippers) She kept Fantails
Irene Brown - who keeps Homers and Danzig Highfliers.
She's famous for her studies upon pigeons. (Cornell University, NY, USA)
Lee Marvin - (actor)
Willie Mays - (baseball player) 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 - (artist)
Wayne Newton - (actor) 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.
Pablo Picasso - (artist) 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 specialized
in painting the same.
Johnny Otis - (jazz and blues musician) 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.
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward - may have been more
involved, but didn't like the autograph hounds, 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.
Clint Eastwood - (actor) 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.
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.
Bles Bridges (Singer), the most well known Afrikaans
singer in South Africa owned some great Stichelbauts (Racing Homers).
Nicola Tesla. - ( American electricity pioneer) He designed
the hydro-electric plant at Niagara 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 marvelous man. Any way he was definitely a pigeon
Maurizo Gucci - (fashion designer)
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.
Jimmy Smits - (actor) 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.
Gordan Richards - (top Jockey)
Bill Lawry - Australian cricket
captain and one of the worlds top cricket commentators still races his birds in Victoria, Australia
Bob Guilteon - a Davis cup
tennis player. his birds were sought world wide, his birds bred the champion bird of Taiwan a couple of years ago
The Sultan of Jahore
The King of Belgium - and
President Mitterands - or
his brother raced - President of France
Andy Capp - famous cartoon
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.
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.
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
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.
Virginia Graham - U.S. talk show host years ago. Breed unknown
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.
Boet Troskie - Famous for
the movie he made "THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY"
Suleiman the Magnificent - who
kept fancy breeds at his palace in Instanbul, Turkey.
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
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.
Samuel Pepys - Diarist and
one of the most important naval administrators in England's history
Senator Hilaire La Haye, Secretary to the Belgium Govt, he named his birds after prominent members of the Belgium Govt, his gold
ring of Belgium ** monsieur Spaak ** he gifted to Marcel Desmet in the early 1970's
Bobby Kennedy, brother of American
president JFK, and assassinated as well. I recall reading a number of years ago that he was no stranger in Boston racing pigeon
Howie Meeker former National Hockey
League star (was rookie of the year sometime in the 50’s), and later a famous hockey broadcaster (colour commentary)
in Canada. I’ve spoken with Mr. Meeker and can confirm that he is indeed a pigeon fancier