|Jackie's parents were performers with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus when he was born. He joined his parents with Ringling Bros. at age one in 1929. Jackie started clowning at a very young age, and as a young man became a salaried performer in partnership with his father who was also a clown. When he was 18, Jackie became an aerialist.
Jackie soon returned to clowning, but maintained his aerial skills. He doubled on the trapeze for Cornell Wilde in the film The Greatest Show on Earth. After graduating from high school, and attending Marquette University in Milwaukee, Jackie took his father's place in the show the RBB&B sent to Havana, Cuba.
During the 1950's Jackie booked his one man act on fairs, other circuses and clowned with several automobile thrill shows. In the 1960's he once again worked for RBB&B circus. He was the producing clown for a unit they sent to South America touring extensively in Argentina and Brazil. Jackie also spent two and a half years touring in advance for RBB&B as their "Ambassador of Goodwill".
In 1963, Jackie was one of five clowns who performed with the first American circus to ever appear in the Soviet Union. They appeared in Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev, Ukraine. Jackie also toured with the European RBB&B Circus unit that appeared across Europe. Jackie was "Richo" the clown, the official Rich Plan Frozen Food Co. for two years. As a clown he has done everything from promotional advertising to school assembly shows.
Ringling Bros. gave Jackie the title of "The Children's Clown".
• Jackie is a popular instructor, teaching at the University of Wisconsin - Clown Camp and lecturing at clown conventions.
• He was a nominee to the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1994 and 1995 and an International Clown Hall of Fame Inductee in 1996.
• Circus Sarasota is honored to have Mr. Le Claire as the “The Ambassador of Mirth” since 1994 where, among other things, he greets people as they enter the Big Top.
• Silver medal winner of the Clown Act competition at the Sarasota International Circus Festival and Parade in December, 1995.
• Funny Face Award, Clownfest, 1996.
• Bobby Williams Memorial Award at the South East Clown Association, 1997.
• Clown-Teacher-Lecturer Clown Camp, University of Wis., at LaCrosse, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
• Celebrity Clown at Felix Adler Days, Clinton, Iowa, 1999.
• Feature Clown Mid-West Clown Association Convention, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1997.
• Teacher-Lecturer-Clown Performer, South East Texas Clown Association, World Clown Association Convention, Laughlin, Nevada,
• Guest Teacher Ringling Bros. Clown College, and Circus Sarasota School of Performing Arts, 2000.
• "The Ambassador of Mirth" at the Circus Sarasota Winter Season Odyssey, 2001.
• Feature Clown Performer, World Clown Association Convention, Orlando, Florida 2001.
• Clown-Teacher-Lecturer, South East Clown Association Convention, Gainsville, Florida 2001.
• Feature Lecturer on "Life In The Circus in the Mid 1940's" for the Flanzer Jewish Community Center Elderhostle Groups of Sarasota, various luncheons and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of the Circus.
• Inducted into the most prestigious of all awards for circus people, the Sarasota, St. Armand's Circle "The Circus Ring of Fame" January 2002.
• "Lifetime Acheivement Award". Sedona International Film Festival, 2009.
• Although Jackie is officially retired now he continues to be very active with Circus Sarasota where he helps to bring joy and laughter to people living in Nursing Facilities throughout the Sarasota area as ‘Senior Advisor’ for Circus Sarasota’s outreach program, Laughter Unlimited.