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Thursday, April 26 Local

Kenneth Maloney, Barnum booster, dies at 92

BRIDGEPORT -- A man who helped keep "The Greatest Show on Earth" alive and well in Bridgeport, has died.

Kenneth Maloney Sr., 92, of Fairfield, died over the weekend.

A World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, forerunner of the Air Force, Maloney made a career in public relations and communications. A University of Bridgeport graduate, he worked first for the Howard Comstock consulting firm and later at General Electric, then started his own public relations firm in 1961.

Many will remember Maloney for his contributions to the city's annual Barnum Festival celebration of 19th century showman, circus-owner and ex-Mayor P.T. Barnum.

Maloney was president of the Barnum Festival in 1958 and, two years later, was chosen as ringmaster.

He remained active on the board up until a few months ago, and often lent his writing, drawing and photography talents to the celebration.

"He was a fabulous citizen of the region," said Paul Timpanelli, head of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and the Barnum Festival's 2014 ringmaster, "engaged in a very sincere, very dedicated, very real kind of way. He lived, breathed the community."

Timpanelli lamented that so many of his predecessors as master-of-ceremonies are gone.

"Somebody pointed out to me last night that it seems like every year now, we appoint a ringmaster and go to another ringmaster's funeral," he said.

Funeral services for Maloney will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 545 Stratfield Road, Fairfield.