Harry Houdini

"Don't Insult Me By Calling Me A Magician, I Am An Escape Artist"

Basic Info

  • Stage Name: Harry Houdini
  • Real Name: Ehrich Weiss
  • Born: March 24, 1874, Budapest, Hungary
  • Died: Halloween, 1926, Detroit, Michigan
  • Profession: Escape Artist
  • Wedded: Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner at the age of 20

Harry Houdini: Tough Childhood

Thesis: Harry Houdini perservered, took on challenges, relied on himself, and eventually reached the stars.


Houdini's real name was Ehrich Weiss. Samuel Weiss, his father was a Rabbi, He moved to Appleton, Wisconsin, and later brought the rest of the family to live with him. After they arrived, another son and daughter were born totaling seven children. Harry and his father were forced to work at a sweatshop offering extremely low pay. "When he was 18, Ehrich and a friend created a magic act called "The Brothers Houdini." The name "Houdini" came from a famous French magician named "Robert Houdin". Ehrich's nickname was "Ehrie," which in English sounds like "Harry." And so Ehrich Weiss became Harry Houdini." (The Amazing Harry Houdini 4). Houdini's father died when he was very young, therefore, he was pretty close with his mother. Though he was extremely young, he decided to leave home and start a fresh life on his own.

Harry Houdini: Rough Career

Houdini had many dramatic and impossible escape acts, He escaped from a huge milk can full of water, he was strapped and hanging above a water torture cell, and he escaped the straps, he escaped from an underground water burial, escaped a straight jacket, and even made a 10,000 pound elephant vanish just with the fire of a pistol. “He wanted to win over the doubters in his audience. The posters advertising his show included a bold challenge: audience members could bring along their own chains and locks. They could climb up onstage and bind Houdini with their own hands. If he failed to escape from someone's locks, Houdini would pay that person a handsome reward." (The Amazing Life of Harry Houdini 4) A doubter of Houdini's was a man named William Hodgson, Brought multiple pairs of cuffs and presented them to Houdini. Houdini, at the age of 28, was happy to take on Hodgson's tough challenge. Houdini struggled, and after about half an hour, He was numb, and chains were still wound around his arms, legs, and ankles. The question is still asked today, was Harry Houdini a fraud?

Harry Houdini: Character Analysis


This shows that Houdini was a perserverer, he never gave up. He relied on himself most of his life, and all his acts and ideas were his own. Even though he had an extremely close relationship with his mother, he had the strength to start a life of his own. Even though he may have been a fraud, he never gave up trying to convince doubters. Just so he could prove his point, he took the time to struggle in tight chains.

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Picture Analysis

This is the letter Ehrich Weiss left for his mother when he left, and started living on his own. This shows that Houdini has a strong heart, and he had the strength to leave his mother, and just leave a note for that matter. He was mature enough to rely on himself. With no help at all, he met success and fame.