- The Washington Times - Monday, December 18, 2006

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Duina Zacchini Norman, a member of a famed circus family who joined the human cannonball act when her brothers were drafted, Dec. 13 in Nashville, where she had lived after a circus career that began on the trapeze when she was 16. She was 82.

The Flying Zacchinis had traveled Africa and Europe during the 1920s and ‘30s performing a cannonball routine perfected by the father, Edmundo Zacchini.

By the time they moved to Tampa, Fla., and joined the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus the year Mrs. Norman was 12, she had been training for two years to become a trapeze artist.

But when her brothers went off to fight in World War II, her father trained his two daughters to take their place as human projectiles.

Mrs. Norman continued with the cannonball act for more than 20 years.

She settled in Nashville after meeting her husband, Jack Norman Jr., at the circus. They later divorced.

“She was the queen of the circus. She was probably one of the greatest women trapeze artists that’s ever been,” Mr. Norman said.

After she gave up performing, she raised a family and opened an antique shop.

Mrs. Norman is survived by two brothers and three daughters.

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