|Born||Francis Augustus Rapp|
January 29, 1871
|Died||July 30, 1961 (age 90) |
Augustus Rapp (January 29, 1871 - July 30, 1961), born in Jeffersonville, Indiana, was a magician, mentalist, juggler, ventriloquist, puppeteer and actor that spent nearly 60 years as a wandering showman in the villages of the Midwest and rural South during the 1890s and early decades of the 20th century.
He was known as Gus and Professor Rapp to his friends. Gus was a close friend of both Houdini and Thurston. In the Conjurers' Monthly Magazine, issued by Harry Houdini, you'll find mention of Rapp, with Houdini's advice to him to "come out of the sticks."
Rapp, around 1912, wrote a correspondence course in magic (although it did not sell very well). He had a series in the Sphinx called "COMEDY WRITE-UPS BY A RUBE", from 1918 - 1926.
He was very active in magic all his life, even into his eighties. After retirement from show business, Rapp managed a small hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, worked for Percy Abbott, lived for awhile in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and finally went to his boyhood hometown of Milwaukee to spend his remaining days at a rest home. In Milwaukee at the age of 88, he wrote his autobiography that was published by Jay Marshall in 1959.
- Comedy Stunts (1950)
- The Life and Times of Augustus Rapp by Augustus Rapp (1959)
- The Life and Times of Augustus Rapp: The small town Showman by Augustus Rapp (1991) - Updated by David Mayer.