10 Daredevils of Niagara Falls

9. Bobby Leach First Man to go over the Falls


As the first male to go over the Falls in a barrel, the English Bobby Leach was a seasoned Barnum and Bailey Circus performer. He wanted to achieve the triple threat: going through the whirlpool in a barrel, parachuting from the Suspension Bridge and going over the Falls in a barrel. On July 25th, in a eight foot steel drum, Leach went over Horseshoe Falls. It took 22 minutes to recover Leach and unlike Annie Edson Taylor, he had suffered two broken knee caps and a fractured jaw. Later in his life, Leach had attempted to swim through the whirlpool rapids, only to be rescued by noted Niagara river-man, William “Red” Hill, Sr. He would loose his life, not to the Niagara, but rather gangrene which developed after a slip on an orange peel.

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