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Alfredo Codona

Alfredo Codona

Oct. 7 1893 – July 30 1937

Alfredo Codona
Alfredo Codona

Alfredo Codona was perhaps the greatest trapeze artist who ever lived. He was idolized by many circus greats including the great aerialist Art Concello. It was Codona who first perfected the triple somersault.

Alfredo Codona was born Oct. 7 1893 in Sonora Mexico into an Italian family of circus performers. Alfredo's father was a trapeze artist and once owned a circus in southern Mexico. Alfredo's mother Hortense Buislay was also a flyer and came from a family of trapeze performers. Alfredo, his father, mother, brother Abelardo and sister Victoria were know as the "Flying Codonas".

In 1917 Alfredo married his first wife, Clara Curtin who also was a circus aerialist, the marriage ended in divorce 1n 1927.

In 1928 Codona met the love of his life, famous circus aerialist Lillian Leitzel who was the star attraction of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, they were married later that year. Alfredo and Lillian, both being temperamental performers had what appeared to be a very tumultuous relationship, however the couple were very deeply in love. During the RBBB"s off season the couple performed in Europe.
In 1931 Alfredo was performing in Berlin Germany and Lillian in Copenhagen, Denmark. On Feb. 13 1931 a portion of Lillian's trapeze rigging failed causing her to fall to the ground. Alfredo rushed to Copenhagen to be at his wife's side. Two days later on Feb. 15 at age 39 Lillian died from her injuries. Alfredo never really recovered from Lillian's death.

In 1932 Alfredo married Vera Bruce also a circus trapeze artist. The following year Alfredo suffered a fall while performing, the resulting injuries prevented him from ever performing on the trapeze again.

In 1937 Alfredo's third wife filed for divorced. On July 30, 1937 during a meeting at Vera's attorney's office, Alfredo pulled out a hand gun and shot Vera and himself in front of Vera's horrified mother and her attorney. Alfredo Died Immediately and Vera the following day.

Codona was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery Inglewood, CA. along side his second wife Lillian Leitzel.


Sarasota's Circus Ring of Fame   On January 28, 1995 Alfredo Codona was inducted into the Sarasota's Circus Ring of Fame.
Alfredo Codona
Alfredo Codona


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