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He learned stage magic using paraphernalia from his father's stage act, and in his teens spent several summers with circuses and carnivals, working his way up to sideshow performer as a fire-eater and in acts involving a bed of nails and sleight-of-hand.
Up through his early 20s, Steranko performed as an illusionist, escape artist, close-up magician in nightclubs, and musician.
He contributed articles on card magic and escapes to Genii magazine.
He was editor and publisher of "Prevue", a magazine covering all aspects of the visual media.
- Steranko on Cards (Ireland Magic Company, 1960)