Harry Houdini: Stories, Myths, And Facts About Magic's Godfather

By | March 21, 2020

Harry Houdini may have passed away in 1936, but he remains the most well-known magician of the 20th century. He was the scourge of false mystics and imitators, a hero to the Jewish people, and a mystery to the world at large. There are few people who use their life to its full potential ,and Houdini was one of them. When he found something that he loved, he followed his bliss until he day he died.

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(LA Times)

Born In Budapest, Raised In Wisconsin

Born in Budapest on March 24, 1874, Harry Houdini wasn't raised "Hardy Houdini." In the old country, he was known as Erik Weiss, one of seven children born into a Jewish family who left for America in 1878. The family settled in Appleton, Wisconsin, where Houdini took on a myriad of different jobs to help his family get by. Even at a young age, he was drawn toward performing, making his trapeze debut at nine years old as "Ehrich, the Prince of the Air."

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The King Of Cards

As you can imagine, Weiss's childhood trapeze act didn't catapult him to the mainstream. As a teenager, he switched to slight of hand and escape tricks, studying under magician Joseph Rinn at the Pastime Athletic Club. In 1891, Weiss's career began in earnest as the young man began marketing himself as "The Wild Man" and later the "King Of Cards" with an act made up mostly of traditional card tricks, a far cry from what he became famous for.