Houdini: Master of Illusion

by Clinton Cox

Harry Houdini, originally named Ehrich, was born in 1874. When he was a teenager in 1891, he found himself confident enough to quit his job and become a full-time magician. He was given the name Houdini by a friend known as Jacob Hyman. He said that in French, adding an i to a word would be saying "like" the word you add it to, so he added i to a famous magician's last name, Houdin, to make the word Houdini. Ehrich was the German translation for Harry, thus his full name is Harry Houdini. Later, he started performing tricks with his brother Theo. Subsequently, he stopped doing this with Theo and began to do it with a lady known as Bess. Less than one month of meeting her, they were married. They had also done a very famous trick known as "Metamorphosis." Besides his tricks, the audience had known him more for his famous escapes. For example, some of them were: Hanging upside down tied in a strait jacket, being placed in crates, cartons, etc. nailed down, jumping in to rivers, and locked in cells. While doing these escapes, Houdini was handcuffed, ankle braced, and weighted down. He normally did these escapes in a few minutes. Houdini had done this for most of his life. From earning all of this money, he was able to bring a large amount of it to his mother from time to time. Then, he was devastated, so he had attended séances. After a medium told Houdini something that his mother supposedly had said, he had become curious of the words the medium had that were said to him. He had done a lot of studying and began to realize that séances were fake. In addition to magic tricks and escape stunts, he had added a section in his show about exposing fake séances. At last, Houdini had died from a disease known as peritonitis which was caused by blows to the stomach. His grave is currently in Brooklyn, New York.
Harry Houdini was a very caring man. For instance, he cares for his wife and mother very much, and has given sack-fulls of money to his mother due to her being poor. In his childhood, his family had lived in poverty, this is why he had been giving money to his mother. Houdini had never agreed to get help. For example, after suffering severe injuries such as breaking an ankle or a rib on stage, he denied the recommendation to go to the hospital by doctors and continued to perform. Most importantly, doing this multiple times, gave him peritonitis. Houdini would have survived if it had not been for his illogical actions.
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Houdini Rope Escape