Noah - may not have raced pigeons because of the lack of
competitors, but we know he raised them.
Roy Rogers - his pigeons may have helped inspire "Happy Trails" (we
would like to think so)
King George the V
Queen Elizabeth II - The royal lofts are still being maintained
today with Golden Jubilee One Loft Race and a website.
Elvis Presley - (The King of Rock n' Roll) Maybe that famous leg
shake came from watching a pigeon dance.
Ray Price - (country singer) still maintains birds in East Texas
Mike Tyson - (boxer) Flights Rollers and Clean Leg Tumblers) At one
time belonged to the Eastern Tumbler Club. Still has a mixed stock
of many kinds of pigeons
Terry Bradshaw - Champion quarter back (4 times in Super Bowl) for
Pittsburgh Steelers. Now a Sport Commentator.
Marlon Brando - (actor) How many pigeons do you imagine have been
named God Father?
Yul Bryner - (actor) I have seen a Bald Eagle but have yet to lay
eyes on a Bald Pigeon. Kept several fancy breeds including Oriental
Rollers at his home in France.
Tony Curtis - (actor) There is a long held story of two famous
actors chasing big game fishing in the Southwest of Western
Australia, the port of Albany to be exact. Before the whaling
station was closed and probably now almost 30 years ago, there were
huge white pointer sharks frequenting the area and our two actors
were allegedly down there chasing them. Word has it that one of our
well known Albany fanciers was paid a visit by the pair, in their
spare time, asking to see his pigeons. A knock on the door and he
opened it to front Lee Marvin and Tony Curtis.
Charles Darwin - (theorist) Scientist and Author whose writings
include " On the Origin of Species (1859) The Descent Of Man (1871),
The Voyage Of The Beagle (1909)" and a "A variety of plants and
animals under domestication". Together with Wallace, offered the
theory of evolution. Darwin kept all kinds of breeds and who showed
us that all breeds can be traced to Columba livia, the wild rock
dove. He had a loft with a variety of fancy breeds which he used to
experiment and develop his hypothesis of "Theory of Domestication"
using selective breeding techniques. He was an active member of some
London pigeon clubs, and reference to his pigeons and his scientific
results is published and available on-line. Hans questions whether
there was a "theory of domestication" as such.
Andy Devine - (actor) Reported to have been in the same racing
pigeon club as Roy Rogers.
Walt Disney -Famous for his "white" birds. They were some of the
original Belgian Pletinckx of the early '60's. They are reportedly
beautiful, very fast, and cross well with other strains including
Stassarts, Devriendts, and Janssens .The lofts are still maintained
at Disneyland in Southern California (Anaheim) and the birds are
still flown & displayed. The lofts there are reported to be part of
the parks original architecture. The loft at Disney World is on the
property. There are also lofts at Disney World in Florida although
here the lofts and birds are maintained by a fancier who lives a
short distance from the park. The California State Racing Pigeon
Organization has a flying award (The Disney award) that was
originally sponsored by him or started in his honor. Walt Disney was
awarded the NPA Levi Service Award for the movie "Pigeon Fly Home".
NOTE:the walt disney world loft was ALWAYS located on property and
maintained by disney employees. But it was closed down about two
years ago due to Hawks.
George Foreman - (boxer) (World Champion Boxer) was very interested
in racing pigeons and did get some from George Girdler in Texas.
Willi Brandt - former German Chancellor, was a keen pigeon fancier.
As a Socialist (Social Democrat) he had to flee Germany under the
Nazis and did so by going to Norway. After the war he returned to
Germany, eventually became mayor of Berlin and ultimately the first
Social Democrat Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler - (boxer) Rollers? Our informant
states "Back in the 70s, I attended a pigeon show at Joe Curran's
House in Worcester, Massachusetts, where I met a young man, named
Marvin who was suppose to be an up and coming boxer. Years later, I
was told that Marvin mentioned his love for pigeons in an interview".
Michael Landon - (actor) produced and starred in the movie "Where
Pigeons Go to Die". It also starred Art Carney. The film was mostly
made in Kansas where they contacted Bill Bonwell, who was then AU
Legal Advisor. Mr. Bonwell and the racing fanciers in Kansas
supplied most of the pigeons for the movie. At the same time Jim
Jenner was in the process of producing "Marathon in the Sky" and
Bonwell put Landon & Jenner in contact with each other. Jenner
loaned Landon the aerial pigeon shots in exchange for Landon
narrating "Marathon in the Sky". He is reported to have been a very
avid fancier and flyer.
Alan Jordaan - Manager of the South African Cricket Team (Racing
Gypsy Rose Lee - (Queen of Strippers) She kept Fantails
Irene Brown - who keeps Homers and Danzig Highfliers. She's famous
for her studies upon pigeons. (Cornell University, NY, USA)
Lee Marvin - (actor)
Willie Mays - (baseball player) U.S. Baseball Player. I don't know
if Willie had, or has pigeons, but he appeared in ad that ran in the
Pigeon Debut, for the Flight Club around the New York City area.
Monet - (artist)
Wayne Newton - (actor) Or as he is called here in Las Vegas, Mr. Las
Vegas. a famous American entertainer that had pigeons as a boy. He
had homers, rollers, tumblers and high flyers.
Pablo Picasso - (artist) who kept Fantails. Picasso loved pigeons so
much that he named his daughter Paloma, which means pigeon in
Spanish. Picasso's father also kept pigeons and specialized in
painting the same.
Johnny Otis - (jazz and blues musician) of California. Johnny is a
jazz/rhythm and blues musician, who, along with other musicians of
his era, is credited with developing the beginnings of rock n' roll.
Johnny (around 70 years of age) continues to breed Saxon Fairy
Swallows (Wing Pigeons) and has strong ties with Southern California
Color Pigeon breeders such as Bill Griebel and Leon Stephens. He
also continues to perform his music and was recently nominated for a
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward - may have been more involved, but
didn't like the autograph hounds, at the one show they attended they
were "swamped" by fans in the showroom. Ms Woodward was very
interested in pigeon racing and competition, but this incident
turned them off.
Clint Eastwood - (actor) At least there was a Clint Eastwood that
raised rollers (maybe still does) but there is some question as to
whether this is the same one as of Dirty Harry Fame.
Scott Baio - (U.S. Actor), Played in TV Show, Happy Days and many
other series over the years. He had flying Flights in Brooklyn with
Bles Bridges (Singer), the most well known Afrikaans singer in South
Africa owned some great Stichelbauts (Racing Homers).
Nicola Tesla. - ( American electricity pioneer) He designed the
hydro-electric plant at Niagara Falls for Westinghouse. Our
informant says "I don't think he raised or bred them, but I know he
loved pigeons. He was kicked out of a few high brow Hotels for that,
he would bring in injured birds and try to rehab them in the room.
There are a number of references in the books on this marvelous man.
Any way he was definitely a pigeon fancier."
Maurizo Gucci - (fashion designer) a famous Italian fashion
designer. His products are sold in the most upscale stores in the
world. He is also a fancier of show pigeons who is on record as
having paid more than $10,000 for an American bird.
Jimmy Smits - (actor) US TV show NYPD blues. He is also reputed to
have narrated the second video on pigeons produced by Jenner "our
oldest feathered friend". He made an appearance at the NPA National
this year. Racing Homers is his game.
Gordan Richards - (top Jockey)
Bill Lawry - Australian cricket captain and one of the worlds top
cricket commentators still races his birds in Victoria, Australia
Bob Guilteon - a Davis cup tennis player. his birds were sought
world wide, his birds bred the champion bird of Taiwan a couple of
The Sultan of Jahore
The King of Belgium - and his family
President Mitterands - or his brother raced - President of France
Andy Capp - famous cartoon character
Prince Bernard - of the Netherlands, Consort of Queen Juliana and
father of Queen Beatrix. Prince Bernhard has his own loft with
pigeons which are raced during the season and also very often show
up at racing pigeon shows, The loft has a special proprietary card
with a little crown on it which shows that that is a pigeon form the
royal loft, these are often sold on charity exhibitions in the
Netherlands. Prince Bernhard is also one of the leaders of the Dutch
World Nature Federation (WNF) which is a sub division of the WWF.
Prof. Herbst - He is a Racing Horse owner and won the biggest and
most prestigious horse race in Africa (the Durban July) this year
with his horse Classic Flag. Made him a Millionaire (again)
Dr. Willard F. Hollander - who knows more about the genetic make-up
of pigeons than anyone else alive.
Gerald Durrel - Of the Jersey Wildlife Fund who rescued the Pink
pigeon from near extinction. He is perhaps best known as the author
of "My Family and Other Animals".
Jeff Fenech - (World Champion Boxer) Former IBF Bantamweight
Champion, Former WBC Super Bantamweight Champion, Former WBC
Featherweight Champion. Purchased Rollers from Sydney Performing
Roller Club ... Our informant believes his son raises them.
Virginia Graham - U.S. talk show host years ago. Breed unknown
Karl Hagenbeck - who kept all kinds of breeds at his zoo in Hamburg,
Germany. Hagenbeck was the first or among the first to do away with
cages at his zoo, using moats instead.
Boet Troskie - Famous for the movie he made "THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY"
Suleiman the Magnificent - who kept fancy breeds at his palace in
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanova III - the Batiushka-Tsar of Russia
kept his pigeons in a house like a small palace at Gatchina until
his sad and surprising death in the Crimea in 1894. These pigeons
were named "Ostanski Golubi" and "Pokrovski" that he acquired from
his brother Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich Romanova after
watching them fly as the young Tsarevich at Tsarskoe Selo.
The Counts Orloff - of the early part of this century (Russia).
They imported rare(r) breeds of pigeons from the Middle East and
parts of the Russian empire and are credited for having "maintained"
Samuel Pepys - Diarist and one of the most important naval
administrators in England's history
Senator Hilaire La Haye, Secretary to the Belgium Govt, he named his
birds after prominent members of the Belgium Govt, his gold ring of
Belgium ** monsieur Spaak ** he gifted to Marcel Desmet in the early
Roy Rogers E-mail
On a 1992 trip to DisneyLand w/ my family, we stopped by Roy Rogers' museum in Apple Valley, CA. I had heard that he used to fly the birds...When I wrote and then phoned to see if I could have a few minutes to interview him for the RPB, I got lucky...His then-long-time-sect'y was from Billings. She set it up, for me.
Roy arrived every AM (back then) about 10AM, picked up his mail, then hung around for a while to greet folks and pose for photos. After about 30 minutes of that, he told me, "Let's go." And away we went. We took a walk. The museum is huge. It's not just a museum to himself & Dale..It's a tribute to all of our old Saturday afternoon matinee heroes...You name one, he has a showcase. Role models like today's kids don't have, sad to say.
He treated me like an old friend. There's one entire showcase devoted to his pigeon-racing days. And another for his coon-hunting days. He took Dale coon-hunting on their HONEYMOON NIGHT. But he talked about everying, like how they lost a son to alcohol poisoning in the service, a kid who'd never had a drink 'til his "buddies" got him really plastered, then dumped him in his bunk to die. Like the Roy of old, on Sat. afternoon, those steely, squinty eyes glared, and he clinched his fists and said, "I'd still like to get my hands on those guys..".
He flew the birds w/ Andy Devine as his partner. He was then w/ the Sons of the Pioneers. But he had to give it up, when he began to make the movies and was away for too long. But he really loved the sport/hobby.
I was with him for maybe an unheard-of hour...I think my interview and photos appeared in a July 1992 issue of the RPB, and I don't even have a copy. My oversight. But I do have a framed 8X10 of him with all of us that morning, which we treasure.
Sermon: It's an indictment of our society, that Roy & Gene and Hopalong and Lash and Sunset and The Durango Kid have been replaced in the eyes and hearts of our children, by the likes................................................................................................element is a greater theat to the moral future of our society, and our nation, than AlQueda...
I'm a lucky boy, to have been in Roy's company for that treasured hour, and to have shared his flying memories...If ever you're in Apple Valley, CA, check it out...
Jim Nichols, Billings, MT