I’m fairly certain that I first learned about Frank Garcia (1927-1993) from either Torkova or Richard Cohn during our recent conversations about old time NYC magic shops for my Chelsea Community News article.
Garcia was one of those legends of the magic community who represented that continuum that includes close-up illusion (card tricks, cups and balls, making small items appear and disappear), as well as gambling, cheating at gambling, and exposing the cheating techniques of gamblers. He lectured, wrote nearly two dozen books, advised law enforcement agents, and performed on TV talk and variety shows like those of Dick Cavett, Merv Griffin, and David Suskind. He was billed as “The Man With the Million Dollar Hands” and “The Gambling Investigator”. Originally from New York City, Garcia was inspired to take up magic when he was young after seeing a performance by Fu Manchu (David Bamberg).
For more on show business history, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous.