Richard Valentine Pitchford
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Richard Valentine Pitchford (November 24, 1895 – November 13, 1973) was a master magician who performed under the name Cardini. He was born in a coal-mining town in Mumbles, Wales.
He joined the British Army during World War I and passed time in the trenches by practicing card manipulations. After being injured in battle, he continued to hone his magic skills in the hospital.
He performed in Australia and then in Canada where he entered the United States from British Columbia. While working his way across the U.S. he met his wife and lifelong assistant Swan Walker in Chicago.
Cardini enhanced his performance by incorporating his magic tricks into a skit coordinated to music. One of the unusual features of a Cardini performance was that he did sleight of hand wearing white gloves.
He was president of the Society of American Magicians three times.
In 1957, he appeared on the Festival of Magic. This is believed to be the only known footage of Cardini performing his act.
Awards and honors
- "Master Fellowship" award from the Academy of Magical Arts (1970)
- In 1999, named one of Magic Magazine's Top Magicians of the 20th Century.