Allen Bloom, who worked with live event company Feld Entertainment for nearly 50 years, died of lymphoma Jan. 18 in Bethesda, Maryland. He was 72.
Born in Los Angeles, Bloom grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. At the age of 11 he got a job sweeping floors for pharmacy and record shop owners Irvin and Israel Feld, who soon branched into entertainment.
Bloom stayed with the compay, managing road tours for Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, The Drifters, The Coasters, Frankie Lyman, Paul Anka, Bill Haley and The Comets, The Big Bopper, as well as the first U.S. tours of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
In 1956, when Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey folded its Big Top tent, the Feld brothers booked the circus into modern arenas. Feld Entertainment purchased Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1967, using Bloom’s marketing skills to help promote the Greatest Show on Earth. Working closely with Irvin and Kenneth Feld, he was instrumental in launching the careers of Gunther Gebel-Williams, Elvin Bale, Tito Gaona, Miguel Vasquez, David Larible and other circus stars.
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As Feld Ent. grew, Bloom expanded his management duties, supervising tour bookings, brand development, advertising, sales promotion and industry relations. During his tenure Feld Ent. grew to include Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage Resort in Las Vegas, Ice Follies, Holiday on Ice, Disney on Ice and Broadway shows.
Bloom also spearheaded the company’s international expansion into more than 35 countries.
In 2007 he received the Pioneer in Sport Entertainment award from the U. of South Carolina’s college of Sport and Entertainment Management. In recent years he has been guest lecturer at industry and university forums as an expert in live event management.
He is survived by his wife Susan, four children; seven grandchildren; his mother; a brother and two sisters.