The Ivan Chronicles

The Ivan Chronicles are a collection of photos that portray the iconic fifty year life of Ivan the Gorilla®. His youth with the Johnston family, to his adolescence at the B&I Circus Store and his future at Zoo Atlanta. These unpublished Ivan photos spotlight the true soul of our late friend. Thus each chapter is a memory by the ones that had known him best during his life in Western Washington & Zoo Atlanta.

To learn from this life that was Ivan, one must first see his past. His charm & humor enthralled many while his story about animal rights captivated the world. This icon of the Pacific Northwest had captured the hearts & minds of a generation of children. A monument of his likeness now stands outside the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to honor his legacy and pay tribute to all that had called him friend. 

Experience his life through his past with each chapter of the Ivan Chronicles

The Bicycle

“Ivan loved to ride on motorcycles with me, therefore it was natural for him to hop on my shoulders & take this opportunity to go for a spin on this new bicycle

Larry Johnston

The Solex Electric Bicycle company wanted to introduce their new motorized bicycle & feature a photo shoot with Ivan for commercial purposes. Ivan & I would take many adventures together, but he had especially loved to ride on motorcycles with me. Therefore, it was natural for him to hop on my shoulders & take this opportunity to go for a spin on this new bike. Typically, when we rode motorcycles together he would stand on the back of the seat, wrap his arms around my neck & enjoy the wind in his little fuzzy head.

Larry Johnston

bicycle
Larry Johnston & Ivan the Gorilla® circa 1964 at the B&I Circus Store