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Joseph Dunninger

Joseph Dunninger


Joseph Dunninger was born on April 18, 1892 in New York City, New York to parents Nicholas Dunninger and Caroline Lina Gottschalk Dunninger.

Between the ages of 8 and 9 Dunninger saw Harry Kellar perform on stage. Kellar, known as the World's Greatest Conjuror was the most famous magician of that time. Joseph was amazed at what he saw. Kellar produce bowls of water from thin air, made a live rabbits disappear and made colorful silks dance across the stage. When young Dunninger return home he began to build magic props using a tool chest his father had given him as a Christmas present.

Joseph began performing for neighborhood kids, charging a few cents admission. He used his profits to buy supplies so he could build more props.

As the years passed Dunninger developed an interest in mysticism and decided to include the art into his act and pursue magic as a profession, To his disappointment he found the supply of magicians to be greater than the demand. Joseph realized that to be a success he would have to be unique. In latter years his advise to young magicians was "Create your own ideas. Leave the other fellows tricks alone".

Dunninger did become unique, he focused more on mind reading and mental acts. Once he found his secret for success his shows became very popular, within eight years he went from performing for $ 8.00 dollars a performance to $ 1500.00 for a single night's work. Dunninger managed to toured the world and performed for many heads of states including US presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge.

In 1943 Dunninger began performing on radio and was featured on shows in the early age of television. Dunninger was also the author of many books on the subject of magic and mind reading.

Joseph Dunninger died on March 09,/1975 at his home in Cliffside Park, Bergen County, New Jersey of Parkinson's disease.

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