Ehrich Weiss, better known by his stage name Harry Houdini, died in a Detroit hospital on this day in 1926. A student asked Houdini if it was true that he could accept blows to the stomach without harm. Houdini said yes, and the student punched him in the abdomen before Houdini could prepare himself, rupturing Houdini's appendix. Houdini refused to take time to go to the hospital, a few days later he collapsed in pain on stage, and died later that night. Today is observed as National Magic Day in his honor.
Not as flamboyant as say, David Copperfield (I know I am dating myself); he is definitely the one magician that all others that came after say influenced them the most.
Here are some quotes on magic:
“Watching foreign affairs is sometimes like watching a magician; the eye is drawn to the hand performing the dramatic flourishes, leaving the other hand – the one doing the important job – unnoticed.” – David K. Shipler
“Life is playfulness…. We need to play so that we can rediscover the magical around us.” – Flora Colao
“Many secrets of art and nature are thought by the unlearned to be magical.” – Francis Bacon, 1561 – 1626
“I've caught this magical landscape and it's the enchantment of it that I'm so keen to render. Of course lots of people will protest that it's quite unreal, but that's just too bad.” – Claude Monet, 1840 – 1926
“Every true artist must, in his own way, be a magician, a charlatan.” – Orson Welles, 1915 – 1985
“Magic. n. An art of converting superstition into coin. There are other arts serving the same high purpose, but the discreet lexicographer does not name them.” – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1881 – 1906
*denotes author’s pick