Charles Edward Ringling (December 2, 1863 – December 3, 1926) was one of the Ringling brothers, who owned the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He was in charge of production.
Charles Ringling bought large tracts of land in the Sarasota, Florida area, including the Gillespie Golf Course. He developed the Courthouse Subdivision, which extended the business center of Sarasota beyond the bay front. He donated land for a courthouse to serve as the county seat for the newly created, Sarasota County. He built the high-rise Sarasota Terrace Hotel near the railroad terminus and a bank through which he encouraged development in the community. Ringling Boulevard, which winds eastward from Tamiami Trail was named in honor of Charles Ringling because of his many civic activities in the community.
The winter retreat of Edith and Charles Ringling was built on Sarasota Bay in the Shell Beach subdivision platted in 1896 by Mary Louise and Charles N. Thompson. The Thompsons, associated with another circus, were instrumental in interesting members of the Ringling family about living in Sarasota.