Irvin Feld grew up working for his father, who owned a store in Maryland. From high school, he was hired to run a pharmacy in the black section of Washington, DC. When the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People offered to finance his pharmacy, he accepted and used the money to expand his store: He added a record department and started to sell black music. Soon he and his brother owned several record shops around town. Irvin Feld was too ambitious to stop there. He felt he had a knack for recognizing talent. So he started his own record label. He discovered and produced Paul Anka, worked with such artists as Fabian, Chubby Checker, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers, and finally brought the Beatles to America for their first tour. Then he got bored by the music industry and fulfilled a dream he had since being a child. He decided to have his own circus, sold all his companies and bought the legendary Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.