The Circus of Crime was first led by Maynard Tiboldt. It was called Tiboldt's Circus at first since it was managed by generations of the Tiboldt family. During the 1930's, Fritz Tiboldt, who was a Nazi party activist, sent his circus from Germany to America supposedly to give performances. Fritz Tiboldt, who was also known as the ringmaster of death, as well as the rest of their circus, was captured by Captain America as they attempted to assassinate several important government figures.
Soon after the death of Fritz and his wife Lola, their son Maynard Tiboldt took the mantle of Ringmaster. With a general decline of income as well as his hatred for Americans, he turned to crime. He decided that if they did not want to pay him, he will make them pay. Several members of the circus quit as they did not want to turn to a life of crime but a surprising huge remainder stayed and agreed to the plans. The circus of crime had also fought Spider-Man and Daredevil. The Ringmaster had put up posters saying that Spider-Man would come to the act and that all proceeds would go to charity so that they would attract a big audience, though he never really suspected spider-man would show up. His plan was to hypnotize the entire audience with his hat and to steal their wallets, watches, etc. Coincidentally, Daredevil, as Matt Murdock, was in the audience. Spider-Man did appear and did some tricks but the Ringmaster had managed to hypnotize the entire audience, including Spider-Man. Daredevil was not hypnotized because he was blind. He went after the Ringmaster, but he sent Spider-Man to battle for him. Daredevil managed to get the hat away from the Ringmaster and freed Spider-Man from his trance. Then the two of them beat down on the entire circus and then beat the Ringmaster. They freed the rest of the audience and caught the Ringmaster.
The Ringmaster would always use a hidden mind control device implanted in his hat that would set them in a trance as the rest of them robbed them of their valuables. The Circus of Crime have been arrested many of times but only for short periods since it was difficult to pin anything on them as their victims would remember nothing.
The Circus of Crime joined the Shadow Council's Masters of Evil. The Fire-Eater, Blossom and Bruto the Strongman were killed during the battle between the Secret Avengers and the Abyss.