Gunther Gebel-Williams changed the face of the American circus forever, and is universally known as The Greatest Wild Animal Trainer of All Time. From Circus Williams in Germany to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Gunther demonstrated to all that humans and animals should work, live and thrive together in harmony. The circus star made his United States debut Jan. 6, 1969 at the circus' winter quarters in Venice, FL., eventually setting a not-to-be-broken circus record of entertaining more than 200 million people during more than 12,000 consecutive performances. He was inducted into the Circus Hall of Fame in 1999 and was honored throughout the world. Gunther was the favorite son if his adopted hometown of Venice. He became an important part of the community, residing here with his family from 1969 until his death in 2001.