Born Ehrich Weiss, in Budapest, Hungary on March 24, 1874. Harry Houdini is notably the most famous magician in history. The name Harry Houdini was an ode to his favorite magician, Eugene Robert-Houdin, the father of modern magic.
His early career was unsuccessful traveling with sideshows and circuses claiming himself as the “King of Cards” and the “Handcuff King.” Around this time Harry met the love of his life, Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner, known to all as Bess. She became his wife and a permanent part of his act.
It was not till he began to focus his act on escapes that he became world famous. Touting that “nothing could hold him,” he escaped from packing crates, straight jackets, rope, handcuffs, jail cells, even escaping from Scotland Yard.
After the death of his mother, he began exposing fraudulent mediums by showing the public that their methods were mere trickery.
He appeared in many films as film was just becoming a popular form of entertainment, but his true stardom was from the stage and the publicity stunts he did to attract spectators to his numerous stage shows.
On October 31st, 1926, Harry died of peritonitis that resulted from a ruptured appendix. A college boxing student who wanted to see if Harry could withstand his sharp blows caused this. Unfortunately it would result in Harry’s demise.
After his death, wife Bess held many séances to try and communicate with her dead husband. Bess would say: “if it was possible to communicate with the dead, Harry would surely try to make some sort of contact.” No sign was ever seen or heard that proved Harry could communicate, but séances are still held today.