Tribute today to Randall James Hamilton Zwinge (b. 1928), better known as the Amazing Randi. A native of Toronto, Randi was turned on to magic as a teenager when he saw a performance by Harry Blackstone Jr. He began working in carnivals and nightclubs, doing conjuring, mentalism and escapology. In the 1950s he became a regular figure on American television and has been a household figure ever since. This has intensified since the early 1970s when he began to be known as a skeptic, publicly debunking the claims of Uri Geller and others to be in possession of genuine psychic powers.
Since the late 1980s was his principal line of work, and there has been no shortage of charlatans for him to expose even in this day and age. After a long, productive and much admired life, Randi passed away in 2020 at the age of 92.
I highly recommend the 2016 documentary An Honest Liar, to learn more.
To find out still more about the history of show business, including magicians like the Amazing Randi, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.