1874 – 1926 Escape Artist, Magician, Stunt Performer
Born in Hungary as Erik Weisz (‘Houdini’ was a stage name), he moved to the USA as a boy. Pursuing a career as a magician, Houdini soon became the world’s leading escape artist; he packed theatres for decades with his performances. As an example, he was lowered head-first into a milk container full of water which was then padlocked from the outside. As another, he was nailed into a lead-weighted box and lowered into the ocean (he surfaced in 57 seconds, leaving the box still secured). He was also a prolific author. He served as President for the Society of American Magicians for some years and led with considerable success a public effort to debunk psychic and medium scams. Houdini’s name remains a household word to this day.
St. Cecile Lodge No. 568, New York
“My chief task has been to conquer fear. The public sees only the thrill of the accomplished trick; they have no conception of the tortuous preliminary self-training that was necessary to conquer fear.”