Harry Houdini

By: Tyler Aeilts

The Biography of the Great Magician: Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini was born in Budapest, Hungary on March 24, 1874. Houdini had six siblings and was born to a Jewish Rabbi and his wife. Houdini’s real name was, “Erich Weisz.” He later moved to Appleton, Wisconsin during his early childhood and soon after he moved to New York City when he was thirteen. Like many other people hoping to become big and famous, Houdini went to New York City and became a professional magician. Harry became known for his miraculous escape acts like the water torture escapes and the straight jacket escapes. In 1899 a man named Martin Beck, who is an entertainment manager asked Houdini if he would work with him. Houdini got the chance to perform at some of the best venues around the country and later went on a tour of Europe. His acts would have the police search him then, put him in shackles and lock him in their jails. Harry Houdini became the highest paid performer in the American vaudeville. People loved Harry Houdini and he became a huge sensation to everyone that saw him perform.


Houdini is remembered for attracting the great sensation of people because of his miraculous escape acts. Harry later became the president of Martinka & Co., Americas oldest magic company in 1923. Harry Houdini later died on October 31, 1926 when he was 52 years old. Harry Houdini will always be remembered as the greatest magician of all time.

Harry Houdini - Straight Jacket Escape

Movie Questions

In this clip, why do you think this act would draw so much public attention at this time?

How do you think Harry became a huge sensation because of his magic?

Harry Houdini's Impact in the 1920's

Harry created a huge sense of excitement and interest for the society of the 1920's. It made everyone have something to look forward too and he drew society's attention towards his acts.