Harry Houdini

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Date of Birth March 24, 1874
Place of Birth Budapest, Hungary
Date of Death Oct 31, 1926 (52)
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Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-born American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as "Harry 'Handcuff' Houdini" on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can with water in it. In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuffs commissioned by London's Daily Mirror, keeping them in suspense for an hour. Another stunt saw him buried alive and only just able to claw himself to the surface, emerging in a state of near-breakdown. While many suspected that these escapes were faked, Houdini presented himself as the scourge of fake spiritualists. As President of the Society of American Magicians, he was keen to uphold professional standards and expose fraudulent artists.

Born: Erik Weisz, March 24, 1874, Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)
Died: October 31, 1926, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Cause of death: Peritonitis
Occupation: Illusionist, stunt performer, actor, historian, film producer, pilot, debunker
Years active: 1891–1926
Relatives: Theodore Hardeen (brother)
IMDb: Harry Houdini's IMDb

About Harry Houdini

Iconic magician and escape artist whose most difficult stunt entailed escaping from handcuffs that took a locksmith five years to build.

Before Fame

In his youth, he took a job as a trapeze artist under the name Ehrich, the Prince of the Air, and was a successful cross-country runner.


A university student and a boxer named J. Gordon Whitehead tested Houdini's immortality by striking him in the gut several times, which ruptured his appendix and killed him.

Family Life

His parents were German Jews named Cecelia Weisz Steiner and Mayer Samuel Weisz. He was married to Bess Houdini from 1894 until his death in 1926.


David Copperfield purchased the entirety of Mulholland's Houdini holdings from Mulholland's estate in 1970.

Information related to Harry Houdini

  • Harry Houdini Category
  • Illusionist - Magic, which encompasses the subgenres of illusion, stage magic, and close up magic, is a performing art in which audiences are entertained by tricks or illusions of seemingly impossible feats using natural means.
  • Swami Laura Horos - Ann O'Delia Diss Debar was a late 19th- and early 20th-century medium and criminal. She was convicted of fraud several times in the US, and was tried for rape and fraud in London in 1901.
  • Walford Bodie A friend of Houdini, and fellow magician - Walford Bodie, whose real name was Samuel Murphy Bodie, was a Scottish showman, hypnotist, ventriloquist and stage magician, famous for his "mock" electrocutions involving a replica of "The Electric Chair".
  • Jewish skeptics
  • Escapologists
  • Spiritualism
  • Paranormal investigators
  • Musicians from Budapest
  • American skeptics
  • Austro-Hungarian emigrants to the United States
  • American Freemasons
  • American magicians
  • American stunt performers
  • American performance artists
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Latest information about Harry Houdini updated on February 23, 2021.