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Gardner coined the term mathemagician.
Martin Gardner grew up in and around Tulsa, Oklahoma. During World War II, he served for several years in the U.S. Navy as a yeoman. While his primary duty was signaling by means of flags and lights, demanding superb eyesight, he was also secretary to the ship's captain and other officers.
After the war, Gardner attended college at the University of Chicago and earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy there. He also attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, but he did not earn a master's degree there. The rest of his education he achieved independently through his wide reading and library research.
For many decades, Gardner, his wife Charlotte, and their two sons lived in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, where he earned his living as an independent author, publishing books with several different publishers, and also publishing hundreds of magazine articles in various magazines. Either by choice or a happy coincidence, he lived on Euclid Avenue. In 1979, he and his wife semi-retired and moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina where they lived in relative seclusion. He and his wife had a long and happy marriage until her death in 2000.
Gardner popularizer recreational mathematics and science and authored the Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic.
Magic Related Books
- 1956 Mathematics, Magic and Mystery Dover; ISBN 0-486-20335-2
- 1975 Mathematical Carnival: A New Round-up of Tantalizers and Puzzles from "Scientific American", Knopf Publishing Group; ISBN 0-394-49406-7
- 1978 Aha! Insight, W.H. Freeman & Company; ISBN 0-7167-1017-X
- 1981 Entertaining Science Experiments With Everyday Objects; Dover; ISBN 0-486-24201-3
- 1982 Aha! Gotcha: Paradoxes to Puzzle and Delight (Tools for Transformation); W.H. Freeman & Company; ISBN 0-7167-1361-6
- 1984 Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing (Test Your Code Breaking Skills), Dover; ISBN 0-486-24761-9
- 1985 Magic Numbers of Dr Matrix, Prometheus Books; ISBN 0-87975-282-3
- 1986 Entertaining Mathematical Puzzles, Dover; ISBN 0-486-25211-6
- 1994 My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles, Dover; ISBN 0-486-28152-3
- 1995 Classic Brainteasers, Sterling Publishing; ISBN 0-8069-1261-8
- 1998 Martin Gardner's Table Magic, Dover; ISBN 0-486-40403-X
- 1998 Mathematical Recreations: A Collection in Honor of Martin Gardner, Dover; ISBN 0486400891 - This book, edited by David A. Klamer, was the tribute of the mathematical community to Gardner when he retired from writing his Scientific American column in 1981. (The Dover edition is a reprint of the original, titled The Mathematical Gardner, published by Wadsworth.) Discreetly assembled for the occasion, the stature of the mathematicians submitting papers is a testament to Gardner's importance.
- 2004 Smart Science Tricks, Sterling; ISBN 1-4027-0910-2