When you think of the most famous magicians of all-time, a lot of them are still alive to this day. Names like Penn & Teller, David Copperfield and David Blaine come to mind, as well as departed names like Harry Houdini. While they’re obviously at the top of the heap in terms of all-time greats, there are some that aren’t remembered as well as they should be. Here are five magicians that most people have never heard of, but really should.
5. Howard Thurston
After running away to join the circus as a young child, magician Howard Thurston would go on to work with many of the others in the field that will be mentioned later on. Thurston, an Ohio resident, became a master of card tricks and his traveling show became the biggest in the United States, earning him recognition as the greatest magician of his time. It has been over 80 years since Thurston’s death, but many aspiring magicians still read his books on how to perform the basics.
4. Adelaide Herrmann
Many may have heard of Alexander Herrman (or Herrmann the Great as some called him), but his wife was also a legend in magic. So much so, in fact, that Adelaide Herrmann was referred to as the Queen of Magic. Herrmann was an expert in acrobatics and honed her illusionist skills early on in her career. Even after the death of her husband, Adelaide powered on and continued to dazzle audiences across the United States. She passed away in 1932, performing nearly the entire time.
3. Harry Kellar
It has now been over 100 years since the great Harry Kellar passed away, leaving less and less people knowing about his amazing legacy. One of the greatest American magicians ever, Kellar was the man on the scene before the likes of Harry Houdini. A mentor to Houdini, Kellar was famous for his sleight of hand and performed tricks like self-decapitation. During his retirement, Houdini sung Kellar’s praises, acknowledging him as the greatest of all-time.
2. Richiardi Jr.
When we say the name Aldo Izquierdo, you probably don’t know who we’re talking about. That’s the real name of magician Richiardi Jr. Then again, most don’t know that name, either. Richiardi Jr. was sort of a shock magician back in his day that would make appearances on national television, including “The Ed Sullivan Show”. Richardi passed away in September of 1985, but his influence isn’t lost on today’s magicians with many (including Criss Angel) citing him as one of the best.
1. P.C. Sorcar
Perhaps the most famous magician to ever come from India, P.C. (which stands for Protul Chandra) Sorcar was a global icon when he started touring the world in the 1930s. Anointing himself as the greatest magician in the world during his time, Sorcar had an affinity for traveling to Japan where he would put on shows that highlighted his Floating Lady routine. Sadly, he would pass away while in Japan of a heart attack in 1971 before global television could really his skills.