Harry Houdini | The Life of Harry Houdini: Mr Harry Houdini was born on March 24, 1874, in Budapest, Hungary, with the original name of Ehrich Weisz. He was 1 of 6 children and the son of Rabbi Mayer Weisz and his 2nd wife, Cecilia Steiner. In 1876, Mayer Weisz immigrated to the U.s., with the dream of a better life. He discovered work as a rabbi and changed his last name to “Weiss”. In 1876, the remainder of the family joined him in the U.S.
Life of Harry Houdini:
The family shifted to Milwaukee when Ehrich was 8 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 1st appearance on stage, performing a trapeze act. He billed himself as “The Ehrich, the Prince of Air.” At 12, Ehrich hopped a freight car and ran away from home. A year later she returned to NYC and continued to help his family by working as a messenger, photography assistant, and necktie cutter. Nothing is known to anyone of his year away from his family.
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About this time, Ehrich and his sibling Theo began to pursue an involvement in magic. As a platform name, Ehrich Weiss became Harry Houdini by adding a ìiî to the last name of his beloved idol, French magician Robert Houdin. Harry is simply an Americanized variant of his nickname, Ehrie.
Harry Houdini Career:
At the age of 17, Ehrich, now known as Harry Houdini, left his house and family to pursue his career in magic. By the age of 20 years, Harry had been playing small acts throughout NYC. He soon married and joined a circus where he began to grow and perfect his escape tricks.
Through the years, Houdini gained popularity after repeatedly escaping from jails and police handcuffs. Harry was even given certificates from several guards for escaping from their prisons. After making his name in America, Harry voyaged Europe, where he expanded his repertoire by escaping from coffins and straitjackets. Eventually, Harry was able to achieve his dream of having a full show dedicated to his magic.
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As a Movie Actor:
In his later years, Harry took his skill to the film arena, where he both acted and started his film laboratory called The Film Development Corporation. Years later, Harry would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also, Harry showed attention in the field of aviation and was the first person to ever fly over Australian soil.
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In the 1920s, Harry became involved in the occult, specifically in debunking mediums and psychics. His training in magic helped him expose tricks that scientists and academics could not. He chronicled his time reviewing the occult in his book, A Magician Among the Spirits.
Harry Houdini’s Death:
In 1926 Houdini died as a consequence of a ruptured appendix, after suffering a blow to the abdomen by a University student J. Gordon Whitehead. Houdini declined to seek medical help and continued to travel, eventually succumbing to peritonitis on October 24, 1926, at the age of 52.
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