Sam Schwartz (April 14, 1911-November 16, 2008) was Dean of SAM Assembly 1 and an icon of the New York City magic scene.
Sam Schwartz was a corporate lawyer and 41 years old when he signed up for an introductory magic class at an adult education program. Within a year of learning his first magic trick, Schwartz was teaching his own group of students. He became a Saturday regular at Tannen’s Magic Shop and befriended Ed Balducci. At gatherings at Ed’s Brooklyn home, he met and brainstormed with many of the magic greats including Dai Vernon, Sam Horowitz, Slydini, Herb Zarrow, Ken Krenzel, Connie Bush, Al Goshman, Cardini, Henry Christ, Gene Elmo and Harry Lorayne.
Sam Schwartz was an innovator of whimsical and entertaining magic. Three of his most successful commercial tricks were:
- Incredi-Box which applied new principals to the traditional Coin Box
- Backflip which increased the number of card changes that could be performed in a standard packet trick
- Astrology: The Hidden Force which explored new grounds in mentalism.
More than 100 of his routines or effects were published in magazines like Pallbearer’s Review (two complete issues), Tops, M-U-M, Swami and Linking Ring. From Pallbearer’s Review: [blockquote]Mr. Schwartz is possessed with a winning personality and charming manner that has made him countless friends around the world…in the end friendship counts, and those who can count Mr. Schwartz as a friend are indeed fortunate.[/blockquote]
Schwartz was president of Ring No. 26, the New York City chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and a national territorial vice president. He has also been a trustee and a chairman of the board of Parent Assembly No. 1 of the Society of American Magicians. In 1964, he took on duties as close-up chairman and board member for the combined S.A.M./I.B.M. convention that year.
For more than 25 years, he was the close-up show chairman of the yearly Tannen’s Magic Jubilees. His law office was the official meeting place for various magic groups, including the original mentalist group that would become the Mystic 13.
After he retired, Schwartz and his wife, Selma, divide their time between Florida and New York City. The Boca Raton S.A.M. Assembly 274 has been named after him.
Schwartz was the dean of the SAM Parent Assembly until his death.
Awards and honors
- A Copper/Silver coin effect won a Linking Ring award.
- I.B.M.’s coveted Star of Magic award
- 2006 Annual Salute to Magic program honored Sam Schwartz
- Play It Again, Sam (1977)
- Sam’s: The Magic of Sam Schwartz (2003)