[2014] JACKSON SIMKO (Jardine 2014-15): The Great Houdini

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[2014] JACKSON SIMKO (Jardine 2014-15): The Great Houdini

The Great Houdini

Lasting Impact

Ehrich Wiess was born into a poor family in 1874 in Hungary. His family traveled to the United States looking for a better life. He began working at 8 years old to earn money for the family.At 16 years old, he read the autobiography of Robert-Houdin, a famous magician at the time. Ehrich was hooked on magic and "Harry Houdini" was born!Houdini started with small local shows and as his fame grew, his stunts (and audiences) became larger. He married his young wife Bess and together they traveled the world to perform his magic!Houdini was also a movie star, pilot and philathropist in his lifetime. He died at 52 years old from a ruptured appendix.Today, magicians still don't know how he did many of his magic stunts!



1874 - Born in Hungary1886 - Ran away from home1892 - Father died1892 - Chose a stage name1894 - Married wife Bess1890s - Created escape stunts1899 - Performed Vaudeville1900 - Toured Europe1905 - Returned to America1910 - First to fly in Australia1913 - Mother died1917 - Did WWI "Good Works"1918 - Moved to illusion stunts1919 - Became a movie star1926 - Died at 52 years old

Houdini was internationally famous and inspired millions of magicians with his greatest escapes and fantastic illusions such as: -"Metamorphosis" Act with Bess - Handcuffs and Straitjackets - Water Stunts like the "Milk Can" - Brick Wall - Jenny the Disappearing ElephantHe was a kind man and cared for others with his "Good Works." - Raised money for WWI - Supported orphanages and children's hospitals

Houdini is still known today as the "Greatest Magician of All Time"!


Fleischman, Sid. Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini. New York: Greenwillow, 2006. Print.Sutherland, Tui T. Who Was Harry Houdini? New York, NY: Grosset ' Dunlap, 2002. Print.


Houdini's Straitjacket Escape

Beyond the Text

Both Houdini and I like magic and stunts. We both enjoy performing for others and the applause. If he was still alive, I would ask him to reveal his magic secrets, how he escaped from handcuffs and how he trained his body for stunts.


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