Milbourne Christopher

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Milbourne Christopher
Born 23 March 1914
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Died 17 June 1984[1]
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Magician, historian, and debunker

Milbourne Christopher (23 March 1914[2] – 17 June 1984) was a prominent American illusionist, magic historian, and author.

President of the Society of American Magicians, an honorary vice-president to the Magic Circle, and one of the founding members of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Christopher wrote a number of books, including a biography of Harry Houdini titled Houdini: The Untold Story, a chronicle of his own craft titled The Illustrated History Of Magic, and thousands of essays relating to magic and mentalism.[3][4]

Debunking work[edit]

Christopher regarded those individuals who claimed ESP or psychic powers to be actually using magic trickery. He wrote three book-length exposés regarding those he said were false seers or psychics: ESP, Seers & Psychics; Mediums, Mystics, & The Occult; and Search For The Soul. Christopher also debunked parapsychology experiments and experimenters during his lifetime. Ironically, despite his denial of the existence of psychic or paranormal powers, and like fellow magicians Harry Houdini and James Randi, both of whom also worked to expose false psychics and mediums, Christopher was accused by some of using paranormal powers to perform his own magic tricks and illusions.[5]

Posthumous achievements[edit]

In November 2010, Christopher's widow, Maurine Brooks Christopher, published a special edition of Houdini: A Pictorial Life with Christopher Collection curator David Haversat.[6]

In April 2011, a sizeable portion of Christopher's collection of rare books, memorabilia and archival materials was sold at auction by his widow, Maurine Brooks Christopher, through the Martinka Magic Co. and magic auctioneer Goodman.[7]

The Society of American Magicians honors his memory annually by presenting "The Milbourne Christopher Awards" to performing magicians and illusionists in various categories, including: the Masters Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Mentalist Award, Literary Award, and a Newcomer Award.[8]

In 2012, the book Milbourne Christopher: The Man & His Magic, written by William V. Rauscher, was released by David Haversat's 1878 Press Co..[9]

Books[edit]

  • Christopher, Milbourne (1962). Panorama Of Magic. New York: Dover. p. 216. ISBN 0-486-20774-9. OCLC 62-51376. 
  • Christopher, Milbourne (1969). Houdini: The Untold Story. New York: Crowell. p. 281. OCLC 4255. 
  • Christopher, Milbourne (1970). ESP, Seers & Psychics: What The Occult Really Is. New York: Crowell. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-690-26815-7. OCLC 97063. 
  • Christopher, Milbourne (1973). The Illustrated History Of Magic. New York: Crowell. p. 452. ISBN 0-435-07016-9. OCLC 668533. 
  • Christopher, Milbourne (1975). Mediums, Mystics, & The Occult: New Revelations About Psychics And Their Secrets. New York: Crowell. p. 275. ISBN 0-690-00476-1. OCLC 1095102. 
  • Christopher, Milbourne (1977). Milbourne Christopher's Magic Book. New York: Crowell. p. 240. ISBN 0-690-01677-8. OCLC 3088945. 
  • Christopher, Milbourne (1979). Search For The Soul: An Insider's Report On The Continuing Quest By Psychics & Scientists For Evidence Of Life After Death. New York: Crowell. p. 206. ISBN 0-690-01760-X. OCLC 5241692. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Milbourne Christopher, 70, Magician On Stage And TV". The New York Times. June 19, 1984. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Social Security Death Index" 14 July 2010
  3. ^ Gerd H. Hoevelmann, Marcello Truzzi, and Piet Hein Hoebens, "Skeptical Literatue On Parapsychology: An Annotated Bibliography," in Paul Kurtz, editor, A Skeptic's Handbook Of Parapsychology, pp. 449-490; Christopher's book is described on pp. 455-456.
  4. ^ Scot Peacock, Contemporary Authors, 2003, Gale.
  5. ^ Milbourne Christopher, Mediums, Mystics & The Occult. New York: Crowell, 1975. P. 233.
  6. ^ [1] November 10, 2010.
  7. ^ Genii, The Conjurors' Magazine. March 25, 2011.
  8. ^ MagicTimes News. - July 18, 2005.
  9. ^ Milbourne Christopher The Man and His Magic | Milbourne Christopher. 174.129.214.216. Retrieved on 2014-03-23.

External links[edit]