Ralph W. Pierce

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Ralph W. Pierce

Cover of Genii (1947)
BornRalph Wellington Pierce
May 28, 1913
Shell Rock, Iowa
DiedAugust 19, 1995 (age 82)
Urbana, Illinois

Ralph W. Pierce (1913-1995) was a part-time vaudeville, full evening show magician and photographer. [1]

Biography

An I.B.M. number of the Magic Wand Ring 236 of Urbana, Pierce's interest in magic started in sixth grade. In his senior year in high school, he meet Harry Blackstone, Sr. who took time to encourage him.

He teamed up with John Calvert out of high school and the two built a show in which they would alternate as assistants.

In 1933, Pierce left Calvert and began playing coal mining camps with an hour show and school assembly shows. In 1936, he married Lois ("Bunny"), his schoolmate and first assistant. They began to do shows for churches.

During World War II, Ralph was assigned in the Navy to an entertainment unit and was attached to a submarine division. He played in Midway, Saipan, Guam, Johnston, and Okinawa.

After the war, Ralph and Lois moved to California and developed a new show, The Madcap Magic Review. He was a regular attendee at the monthly meetings of the Pasadena Magicians Guild (S.A.M. Assembly No. 41).[2]

After graduating from the Chavez School of Magic, he started doing a Spook Show in the 1950s called "Graveyard Frolics...with a cast of fifty, three living and forty-seven dead."

Ralph retired as a full-time professional, returned to Ashton, Illinois. Ralph went to photo school under the GI Bill and started a photographic studio. Magic was still his hobby and he continued to lecture and work as an MC for Abbott's Get-Together.[3][4][5][6]

Books

  • "Here's How!" (distributed to members of the Armed Forces in World War II)[7]


References

  1. Who's Who in Magic, Sphinx, February, 1933
  2. cover Genii 1947 January
  3. Obit, Linking Ring, November 1996
  4. Watch The Bunny Says Ralph W. Pierce by J. Ray Beffel, Linking Ring, October, 1955
  5. News of the IBM by J. Ray Beffel, Linking Ring, August , 1956
  6. Pierce Playing the East, Dragon, June 1936
  7. Perennial Mystics #6 (1987)


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