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Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.

Tuesday
Dec 07, 2021

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Quote Author: Karl Wallenda

Karl Wallenda

Karl Wallenda

Karl Wallenda (January 21, 1905 - March 22, 1978) was the founder of The Flying Wallendas, an internationally known daredevil circus act famous for performing death-defying stunts without a safety net.

Karl was born in Magdeburg, Germany. The Great Wallendas were noted throughout Europe for their four-man pyramid and cycling on the high wire. The act moved to the United States in 1928 and began an association with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Combined Circus. Later they performed as freelancers. In 1947 they developed the unequaled three-tier 7-Man Pyramid.

On July 18, 1970, a 65-year-old Karl performed a high-wire walk across the Tallulah Gorge, a gorge formed by the Tallulah River in Georgia. An estimated 30,000 people watched Karl perform two headstands as he crossed the quarter-mile-wide gap.

Despite being involved in several tragedies in his family's acts, Karl continued with his death-defying stunts. In 1978, at age 73, Karl attempted a walk between the two towers of the ten-story Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on a wire stretched 37 metres above the pavement, but fell to his death when winds exceeded 48 kilometres per hour. The Wallenda family attributes the tragedy to "several misconnected guy ropes along the wire" and not the windy conditions. A film crew from WAPA-TV in San Juan filmed the fall, and the video, featuring anchorman Guillermo Jose Torres' anguished narration of the fall, circled the world.

He was quoted as saying, "Life is being on the wire, everything else is just waiting."

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