Help us get to over 8,749 articles in 2024.

If you know of a magician not listed in MagicPedia, start a New Biography for them. Contact us at

Larry Jennings

From Magicpedia, the free online encyclopedia for magicians by magicians.
Jump to: navigation, search
Larry Jennings

Cover of Genii (1970)
BornAlfred Lawrence Jennings
February 17, 1933
Detroit, Michigan
DiedOctober 17, 1997 (age 64)
North Hollywood, California

Larry Jennings (February 17, 1933 - October 17, 1997), born Alfred Lawrence Jennings in Detroit, Michigan. His name was legally changed in the early 1950's by the U.S. Navy to avoid confusion with another sailor of the same name. Larry was known for his close-up card technique and friendship with Dai Vernon.


Growing up, Larry divided his time between staying with his father in Detroit and his mother in Georgia. Larry joined the United States Navy when was only 16. While in the Navy, a fellow sailor showed Larry a trick and he kept pestering the sailor to teach him. After his discharge, Larry moved to Detroit where he meets and eventually marries a French-Canadian woman named Nina Chauvin who was living in Windsor, Ontario. Larry worked as a combustion engineer.

In 1956, while in Windsor, Ron Wilson moved across the hall from Larry. Ron introduced Larry to the magic of Ed Marlo and Dai Vernon. Larry soon became a member of the Windsor Magic Circle.

In the early 1960s, Larry met Dai Vernon for the first time at a convention in Cleveland. In 1961 at the Columbus MagiFest, Larry then meets fellow cardman Bruce Cervon and they become fast friends.

In 1964, Karrell Fox tells Larry about the Magic Castle. Knowing that Dai Vernon was living in Hollywood, Larry quits his job and moves to California where he gets a job working for Leo Behnke’s father in the plumbing repair business. Larry becomes friends with Dai Vernon and starts to study magic under him. Also during this time, Larry, Dai Vernon, Charlie Miller, Ron Wilson, and Tony Giorgio would regularly play poker with the provision that you could cheat. However, if you got caught you would have to forfeit your pot and leave the table.

In 1969, Larry traveled with Dai Vernon on his lecture tour of Japan and met Hideo Kato who acts as the interpreter.

Larry got divorced from Nina in the early 1970s and by the mid 1970s, Larry meets his second wife, Geri, in Los Angeles. They married and moved to Lake Tahoe, where he opened his own plumbing company, but eventually they also get divorced.

In the early 1980s Larry sold his business in Lake Tahoe and moved back to California (Newport Beach) to work at the Magic Island as the resident magician. He was also placed in charge of booking, but when he tried to get higher pay for the magicians. He ended up quitting when the management refused. Larry moved in with James Patton. Jim convinced Larry to do another lecture and in 1982 Larry lectures at the Magic Castle.

In 1986, Larry and Louis Falanga started L&L Publishing. Larry wed his third wive, B.J. on December 28th, 1990, with Michael Skinner as the best man. Jennings and B.J. continued to live in North Hollywood until his death.

Al Wheatley saw Jennings perform his chop cup routine at The Magic Castle shortly after it opened in 1963. Wheatley was so impressed that he asked Jennings to please not reveal his method or routine in print until after his death. Jennings kept his promise, and did not publish his routine until a year after Wheatley's death. It was published in Genii Magazine, Volume 29, Number 7, in March of 1965.

Awards and Honors

  • In 1979, Larry was the guest of honor at the annual Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic.
  • Larry was awarded the Creative Fellowship by the Academy of Magical Arts in 1995.


  • Larry’s first published ideas, “A Snappy Lift” and “Lift No. 2,” appear in a letter from Dai Vernon to The Gen magazine (September 1964)
  • Lecture Notes: Larry Jennings On Card And Coin Handling (first edition) (July 1967). These notes are written by his wife, Nina.
  • A collection of Larry’s magic appears in Dai Vernon's Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic (1967)
  • Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Lecture Notes, also written by his wife Nina (1970).
  • Larry Jennings' one-man issue of Genii 1970 May. The effects are written by Jules Lenier.
  • Larry Jennings - No Card Magic Nyuumon by Hideo Kato (1970). Written in Japanese, the book has yet to be translated into English.
  • Karl Fulves publishes a special two-part issue of Epilogue featuring Larry Jenning. (1975)
  • "Stabbed Coincidence" and "The Coin And Beer Can" effects released by Jeff Busby (1977)
  • Larry Jennings On Card And Coin Handling Book by Jeff Busby (1977)
  • A Visit With Larry Jennings lecture notes (1982)
  • THE MASTERFUL CARD AND COIN MAGIC OF LARRY JENNINGS by Harvey Rosenthal c. 1980s (Routines from Jennings' private notes strictly for my use in future books by Richard Kaufman. Only 3 copies are known to have been made.[1])
  • The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings (1986)
  • Neoclassics (1987)
  • The Cardwright (1988)
  • During the 1990s there are two new sets of lecture notes and five videotapes released.
  • Up in Smoke by Larry Jennings (2005)
  • Larry Jennings Classic Magic, DVD (1992)
  • Jennings '67 by Richard Kaufman (1997)
  • Larry Jennings - A Private Lesson, DVD (2006)

Future Books

  • Mr. Jennings Takes it Easy by Richard Kaufman (started out as an English translation of Larry Jennings - No Card Magic Nyuumon by Hideo Kato, but then went in an entirely different direction)[2]
  • Mr. Jennings Takes It Tough by Richard Kaufman


Wikipedia-logo.png This page incorporated content from Larry Jennings,

a page hosted on Wikipedia. Please consult the history of the original page to see a list of its authors. Therefor, this article is also available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License