Harry Houdini also popular as “The Handcuffed King” is a name, which will live till eternity in the world of magic, illusion and escape acts. Houdini was born on 24th March 1874 in Budapest. He travelled all over the world performing escapes in the scariest of the situations and taking the world by a surprise. Born into a very ordinary family he had to put up with petty jobs in childhood. He made his debut performance as a trapeze artist and went onto become one of the most successful escape artist the world has ever seen.
Harry Houdini was not his real name. His real name was Erik Weisz. When his parents moved to the United States he was renamed as Ehrich Weiss. Friends called him Ehrie or Harry. Harry took up the sir name Houdini inspired by the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin and Harry’s friend Jack Hayman had erroneously informed him that adding an ‘i’ after Houdin would mean Houdin like. Though Robert Houdini inspired Harry, it was only later that after extensive research Harry called him a liar and published a book named The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin.
Some of Houdini’s most notable escape acts are the Mirror challenge, Milk Can Escape, Chinese Water Torture Cell, Overboard box escape and the Buried Alive stunt. The Mirror challenge is said to be the most difficult escape act that Houdini ever performed. Houdini challenged a number of police forces to chain him down with the best chains and locks they have. Many tried but all failed to keep this escape master chained as he escaped the locks like a gasp of air would.
The death of Harry Houdini was a moment of grief in the world of magic, entertainment and performers. Harry died due to a ruptured appendix on 31st October 1926. Though the great escapologist had been buried within the sands of time, even after 87 years of his demise people still remember this greatest of great escapologists. This is the magnitude of his art; we are still writing and reading about this illustrious man.