Harry Houdini



Harry Houdini was born on April 16, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary.  His birth name was Erich Wiesz. Harry, which was what people called him, was a nickname for Erich. His idol was Robert Houdini so he added and I to the end of him name and made it Houdini. That is what Harry is called and most known by. Houdini, a Jewish kid, learned how to unlock cabinets that held sweets that his mother had hid from him. When Erich was 12 he ran away from home on a freight train that took him to Kansas City. From there he moved to Appleton Wisconsin, where he changed the spelling of his last name to Weiss. Once he got older he claimed to be born in Appleton Wisconsin. He attempted to bring people to life but he died by drowning in a magic act in 1926.

Houdini started his career doing card tricks in a dime museum at age 17. Houdini worked with his brother Theo, and they were called the Houdini Brothers. Once Theo went to do magic on his own, Houdini partnered up with his wife Bess. Houdini did shows before civic groups, in music halls, side shows, and Coney Island where he sometimes did 20 shows everyday! Houdini escaped after being handcuffed and trapped around a pillar in the Scotland Yard. For Houdini to increase publicity he jumped into a river chained up. Everybody thought he would not come up, but then he came up waving the chains over his head. When he got back to the USA in 1900 he was a famous magic man.

Houdini entertained people when he was doing his magic. His acts made people happy excited. He inspired me to try new things like magic tricks. He was a great person to other people. He made them feel good. Houdini was smart, creative, remarkable, talented, fascinating, incredible, and he showed all of this just by doing one act.

Houdini was a busy man he moved a lot and had a harder life than I thought. Just because people are famous do not mean they have the best life. I learned that Houdini is a really great person on the inside and not just his magic is amazing, he is too.