Wallendas have rich history, not without tragedy
ABC will broadcast the walk Friday night by Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of the circus performers.
The Wallendas trace their fearless roots to 1780 Austria-Hungary, when ancestors traveled as a band of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, animal trainers and trapeze artists.
His great-grandfather, Karl, was the patriarch of the modern day Wallendas and himself walked over the Tallulah Gorge on a tightrope. However he died at age 73 when he fell from a wire in Puerto Rico.
Fourteen family members perform today in various troupes.