Saturday, July 12, 2014

Biography: Harry Houdini

From The Good the Bad and the Mad, E. Randall Floyd

Harry Houdini.  This is a man we have all heard of—a performer, magician, but most importantly an escape artist.  Houdini vowed that his biggest act would be to come back from the dead.  But at the same time he proclaimed spiritualism to be a sham.  This was after he spent a fortune trying to contact his mother after she died. 
Born Ehrich Weiss, he was driven and studied magic.  He particularly like the “The Memoirs of Robert Houdin” and took his name, adding the “I” which means like, “like Houdin.”  After he became wealthy he performed for the art.  His most popular act was to hang suspended from tall buildings, bound, locked, strait jacketed he would gracefully slip free.  Houdini would boast that “no power on earth” could restrain him. 
He started working through a booking agent, who insisted Houdini focus on escape stunts.  His work schedule took a toll.  He was hit in the ribs, and went to the doctor who suggested rest.  He worked in spite of pain, and finally had to go to the hospital.  He had ruptured his appendix.  Toxins form the ruptured organ seeped through his body and killed him.  He still has not returned.

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