Previous to my 2022 biography, "Pallenberg Wonder Bears - From the Beginning" (BearManor Media), I authored a pictorial history titled, “Images of America CLINTON” (Arcadia Publishing, 2019); five titles for New York City publishers (The John Day Company & Franklin Watts); illustrated two dozen and provided art for the Bronx Zoo; the Humane Society of the United States; Little, Brown & Company; the Journal of Theoretical Biology; the Journal of Algebra; the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; and World Scientific Publishing. Additionally, I coordinated the 1969 world premiere of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" for 20th Century Fox; worked as a consultant for the U.S. House of Representatives’ “October Surprise Task Force”, where according to their Deputy Majority Counsel, Michael Zeldin, my work “met and exceeded every expectation”; and organized and hosted the 2015 Edgar Rice Burroughs Bibliophile Convention (aka Dum Dum), which ran for four days in Clinton, Connecticut and was attended by members of the Burroughs’ family and the staff of ERB, Inc, along with authors and illustrators of Burroughs related books and almost 100 bibliophiles, who came from all over North America to celebrate his genius.
An active member of every community in which I've ever lived, I spent eight years as a Clinton, CT Police Commissioner (2005-2013); served on Clinton's Design Review Board (2000-2007); Historic District Commission (2001-2006; 2017- present); and Charter Revision Commission (1997-98 & 2003-04). For Clinton's Department of Parks & Recreation I coached 1st, 2nd & 3rd grade girls softball (2008-2014) and for seven years did the publicity for the Clinton Rotary’s annual Cancer Relief Fund Drive Walk-a-thon. Previously I served on the Board of The Arts Council of Greater New Haven; Planned Parenthood of Greater New Haven; Shoreline Youth Theater; the Madison Arts & Science Council -- and additionally, spent eight years as the program coordinator for the New England Chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, serving simultaneously on their Board of Directors and three of those years as its Board’s Chairman.
In September 2019, my book "Images of America Clinton" won a Literary Award Competition sponsored by the Connecticut Society of Genealogists as Best Research Publication and two years earlier, Marquis Who’s Who presented me with their Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Previous honors include the 2001 General Richard G. Stilwell Award, bestowed upon me in Washington D.C. by the Association of Former Intelligence Officers for my work with their New England Chapter; and Duck Island Yacht Club’s 1998 Corinthian Award.
Pallenberg Wonder Bears - From the Beginning
Emil Pallenberg (1888-1963) is considered to have been the greatest bear trainer of his time and he originated most of the tricks performed by bears to this day. He is the first person to teach a bear to ride a bicycle and a motorcycle. He also taught his bears to roller skate, dance, walk on stilts, play musical instruments and walk the tight rope.
Emil Pallenberg and his companion (and later, wife), Catharina Wouts Suverein (aka Cato), came to the United States through Ellis Island in 1914, with three trained, acrobatic bears to perform in Vaudeville for six months -- and became headliners in Ringling Brothers owned circuses for more than a decade. Emil met Catharina in 1913 while performing with his bears in Holland -- and she ran away with him and his bruins to perform in Russia, leaving behind her innkeeper husband and two year old son.
Pallenberg Wonder Bears – From the Beginning
BearManor Media (206 pages/142 Images) © 2022
"Images of America CLINTON" (Arcadia)2019
Geography Puzzles (Franklin Watts)1979
Math Puzzles (Franklin Watts)1978
Metric Puzzles (Franklin Watts)1977
The Second Adler Book of Puzzles & Riddles (The John Day Company)1963
The Adler Book of Puzzles and Riddles: Sam Lloyd up to Date (The John Day Company)1962
Awards and Recognition
- "Images of America CLINTON", 2019 Best Research Publication, Connecticut Society of Genealogists.
Press and Media Mentions
- “Pallenberg Wonder Bears – From the Beginning is a captivating narrative you couldn’t have dreamed up, but won’t want to put down. I’ve been in publishing for a long time and at this point it takes something really unique to raise my eyebrows -- and this story certainly did, from the very first page.” -- Justin Race, Director Purdue University Press
- “The rich history of Pallenberg's Wonder Bears has been bought to life through the meticulous research of Peggy Adler and Dibirma Jean Burnham. They weave together the fascinating story of the world’s most famous bear act t revealed documents and rare photographs that transport the reader back to an era when audiences marveled at Emil Pallenberg’s skillful training and embraced the performances of his amazing bears.” -- Chris Berry Circus Historian