Jules Leotard was the inspiration for the song “The Man on the Flying Trapeze.”
He made his first public appearance in 1859 with the Cirque Napoleon and began a career of trapeze stunts that made him the toast of Europe.
Leotard invented a one-piece, skin-tight garment to free his movement and display his physique.
The garment made its way into the ballet studios of Paris and was known in English by 1859 as a “leotard.”
Leotard called his garment a maillot, which now means “bathing suit” in French.
Born in Toulouse, France, Jules Leotard died from smallpox at the age of thirty.