Bobby Leach (1858 - April 26, 1926) was the second person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, after Annie Taylor, and the first man to do so, accomplishing the feat on July 25, 1911. He spent six months in the hospital recovering from injuries he sustained during the fall, which included two broken knee caps and a fractured jaw. He had been a performer with the Barnum and Bailey Circus and was no stranger to stunting. For several years he toured Canada, the United States and England, recounting his harrowing journey at vaudeville shows and lecture halls, exhibiting his barrel and posing for pictures. While in his 60s he attempted to swim the whirlpool rapids but failed after several attempts. During these attempts, he was rescued by William "Red" Hill Sr., who knew the Falls well and became well known in the area for later rescues. In 1926, while on a publicity tour in New Zealand, he injured his leg when he slipped on an orange peel. The leg became infected, and eventually gangrene necessitated the amputation of the leg. Leach died of complications two months later at the af of 67 or 68.
December 12th, 2017
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