P.T. Barnum: An Account of humbugs, delusions, impositions, quackeries, deceits and deceivers generally, in all ages, written by the famous expert in the field - P.T. Barnum. Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 - April 7, 1891) was an American showman remembered for hoaxes and for founding the circus that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Barnum never flinched from his stated goal "to put money in his own coffers." He was a businessman, his profession was entertainment, and he was perhaps the first "show business" millionaire. He never said "There's a sucker born every minute" but his rebuttal to critics was often "I am a showman by profession...and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me."