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Howard Thurston

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Howard Thurston
BornHoward Franklin Thurston
July 20, 1869
Colombus, Ohio
DiedApril 13, 1936 (age 66)
Miami Beach, Florida
Resting placeGreen Lawn Abbey, Columbus, Ohio.
CategoriesBooks by Howard Thurston

Howard Thurston (July 20, 1869 - April 13, 1936) was a world famous stage magician from Columbus, Ohio. He had the largest traveling Vaudeville magic show for the time, requiring more than eight entire train cars to transport his props and equipment across the country.



Besides being known for the large stage illusions in his Vaudeville show, Thurston was famous for his work with playing cards. He called himself the "King of Cards". One of his most famous effects was the "Rising Card".

In 1908 he took over the Thurston-Kellar Show, following the retirement of Harry Kellar. He toured with Beatrice Foster whom he eventually married, but the marriage only lasted for four years.

His brother Harry Thurston also achieved some prominence as a performer.

On August 23, 1935, Thurston's farewell tour began at the Fox Theatre in Philadelphia. Though he did not perform the card manipulations he had excelled in for so many years, the other tricks and illusions were as swiftly placed and as entertaining as ever.

Thurston died from a stroke in 1936 in Miami Beach, Florida. He is entombed at Green Lawn Abbey, a mausoleum in Columbus, Ohio.


"My object is to mystify and entertain. I wouldn't deceive you for the world." - Howard Thurston.



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  • The Magic World, Vol. 2, No. 2, May 1918, Cover, HOWARD THURSTON, by C. J. Hagen, Bio Editor, page 15
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 9, No 11, January 1930, THURSTON'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY IS APPEALING TALE, by William F. McDermott, page 1204
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 16, No. 3, May 1936, AN APPRECIATION OF HOWARD THURSTON, by Dr. Henry R. Evans, page 218, GREAT MAGICIAN GONE, World is Left Wondering as Thurston Carries Secret of Magic To His Grave, page 224
  • The Jinx, No. 20, May 1936, Newspaper clipping “Herald-Tribune, New York, N.Y. April 14, 1936”, Thurston Dies, Fooled World With His Magic, page 112, Newspaper clipping “New York Sun, April 14, 1936”, Awaits Sign From Thurston, Fellow Magician Tells in the Bronx of Plan to Prove Immortality, page 113
  • The Jinx, No. 21, June 1936, Newspaper clipping “Pittsburgh (Pa.) Sun Telegraph – May 10, 1936”, Rajah Claims Thurston's Throne, Self-Styled 'King of Magicians' Expects Jane's Resentment, 'Chosen Successor' by the Master, He Declares, page 121
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 22, No. 5, July 1942, Thurston the Man, Off Stage Recollections – by Alvin Richard Plough, page 19
  • Article Genii 1951 February
  • Robert E, Olson published a long running contribution “A Tribute to Howard Thurston” in “The New Tops”, starting in Vol. 10, No. 6, June 1970 on page 25. The series ended in Vol. 20, No. 11, November 1980 with a “Howard Thurston Time Chart” on page 12.
  • The Last Greatest Magician in the World by Jim Steinmeyer (2011)
  • Cover Genii 1991 August
  • Cover Genii 2011 February
  • Find a Grave, Howard Thurston.
  • “Linking Ring, Vol. 79, No. 11, November 1999, Memoirs Of A Magician's Ghost, by John Booth, CHAPTER 341 - Thurston: A Truly Great Magician, p. 85”