Harry Houdini: 144 Years and Counting

By Tom Interval

Houdini prepared to jump from the Harvard Bridge, Boston, Massachusetts, April 30, 1908 (Photo: Library of Congress)

Houdini prepared to jump from the Harvard Bridge, Boston, Massachusetts, April 30, 1908 (Photo: Library of Congress)

Erik Weisz—later Americanized as Ehrich Weiss and ultimately immortalized as Harry Houdini—was born in Budapest, Hungary, 144 years ago today: March 24, 1874.

Although Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 at the age of 52, his name lived on for another 92 years and will certainly endure for as long as people exist.

This immortality was Houdini’s greatest feat. If you have any doubt, Google “Harry Houdini” and see how many hits you get. As of this writing, I get about half a million. Not bad for an elderly birthday ghost.

So let it be said that, despite what many people have asserted time and time again, Houdini actually did escape death. The only place from which he cannot escape is our collective memory.

Happy birthday, Harry.

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