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Houdini, Harry, 1874-1926


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  • Variants

    • Weiss, Ehrich, 1874-1926
    • Hudini, Hari, 1874-1926
    • Ṿais, Eriḳ, 1874-1926
    • Houdini, 1874-1926
    • Deadota, Giovanni, 1874-1926
    • Weisz, Erik, 1874-1926
  • Additional Information

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  • Sources

    • found: Zehavi, A. Hudini ha-gadol, oman ha-beriḥot, c1982:p. 11) (Eriḳ Ṿais) p. 23 (Hari Hudini)
    • found: His Miracle mongers and their methods, c1920:t.p. (Houdini)
    • found: His Il mistero di Osiris, or, The mystery of the jewel (talisman), c1921:t.p. ("Giovanni Deadota")
    • found: Wikipedia WWW, Jan. 21, 2011(Harry Houdini was born as Erik Weisz (he later spelled his birth name as Ehrich Weiss) in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, on Mar. 24, 1874. From 1907 on, however, Houdini would claim in interviews to have been born in Appleton, Wisconsin, on Apr. 6, 1874. He died October 31, 1926, in Detroit, MI)
    • found: Houdini: His Life and His Art, via WWW, May 12, 2016(Harry Houdini was born on March 24, 1874 in Budpest, Hungary, with the name of Ehrich Weisz; he was one of six children and the son of Rabbi Mayer Weisz and his second wife, Cecilia Steiner; in 1876, Mayer Weisz immigrated to the United States; he found work as a rabbi and changed his last name to Weiss; in 1876, the remainder of the family joined him in the United States; the family moved to Milwaukee when Ehrich was eight years old; during his early years, Ehrich sold newspapers and shined shoes to help support the family; on October 28, 1883, nine year old Ehrich made his first appearance on stage, performing a trapeze act; he billed himself, "Ehrich, the Prince of the Air;" at 12, Ehrich hopped a freight car and ran away from home; a year later he returned to New York and continued to help support his family by working as a messenger, necktie cutter, and photography assistant; aout this time, Ehrich and his brother Theo began to pursue an interest in magic; as a stage name, Ehrich Weiss became Harry Houdini by adding an i to the last name of his idol, French magician Robert Houdin; Harry is simply an Americanized version of his nickname, Ehrie; at 17, Ehrich, now known as Harry Houdini, left his family to pursue his magic career; by the age of twenty, Harry had been performing small acts throughout New York; he soon married and joined a circus where he began to develop and perfect his escape tricks; through the years, Houdini gained fame after repeatedly escaping from police handcuffs and jails. Harry was even given certificates from various wardens for escaping from their prisons; after making his name in America, Harry toured Europe, where he expanded his repertoire by escaping from straitjackets and coffins; eventually, Harry was able to accomplish his dream of having a full show dedicated to his magic; in his later years, Harry took his talent to the film arena, where he both acted and started his own film laboratory called The Film Development Corporation; in addition, Harry showed interest in the field of aviation and was the first person to ever fly over Australian soil; in the 1920s, Harry became interested in the occult, specifically in debunking mediums and psychics; his training in magic helped him expose frauds that scientists and academics could not; he chronicled his time investigating the occult in his book, A Magician Among the Spirits; in 1926 Houdini died as a result of a ruptured appendix, after suffering a blow to the abdomen by university student J. Gordon Whitehead; Houdini refused to seek medical help and continued to travel, eventually succumbing to periotonitis on October 24, 1926 at the age of 52)
  • Change Notes

    • 1980-05-28: new
    • 2017-12-16: revised
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