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1948 Horatio Alger Award Winner

George A. Hamid*

Atlantic City Steel Pier

"Whatever success I have attained, I owe to my failures. A hungry man learns more from one resounding failure than he does from two successes."

George Hamid was born in Broumana, Lebanon, in February 1896. He completed three grades in Arab schools. He learned tumbling on the village streets, and at the age of nine, having been brought up by his grandmother, joined his uncle's acrobatic act with the Buffalo Bill Circus in Marseilles, France. The following year, he arrived in the United States and spent his first night in a barn at the Trenton Fair Grounds. He was taught to read and write by Annie Oakley and given his show business ABCs by Buffalo Bill. At 13, he won the acrobatic worlds championship at the old Madison Square Garden. In 1920 he entered the booking business and developed the world's largest agency for circus and outdoor talent. In 1936, Hamid bought the New Jersey State Fair in Trenton, and in 1945 he acquired control of the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. Hamid headed the Hamid-Morton Shrine Circus, founded the National Showmen's Association, and owned New Jersey's largest motion picture theater chain.

* Deceased