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Alton Sharpe

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Alton Sharpe

Cover of Genii (1948)
BornJack Conrad Brown
September 05, 1923
Dallas, Texas,
DiedDecember 21, 2004 (age 81)
CategoriesBooks by Alton Sharpe

Alton C. Sharpe (September 5, 1923 - December 21, 2004), a Chicago attorney, started a second career as a magician.


A 1955 graduate of The John Marshall Law School, Sharpe had been an Army entertainer in Europe during World War II. In addition to a civil law and tax practice he owned Al Sharpe Studio of Magic.

He was the editor-publisher of Ollapodrida.

Possible alias

It's quite possible that Alan Keith, the editor of Expert Card Mysteries (1975) and creator of 8 card tricks in Expert Card Mysteries and Expert Card Conjuring, was an alias for Alton Sharpe.[1]

About Alton Sharpe’s Name

Sharpe was born Jack Conrad Brown. He started with magic, went into law, and changed back to magic again.

In the 40th he performed under Alton Sharpe.[2] [3] [4]

In the February 2005 issue on page 24, Genii published his obituary.[5] The next page 25 is a topic about the Kennedy assassination in November 22nd, 1963, titled "Tell Jack Ruby not to send the letter …", by Richard Hatch. The contribution is about Conrad Brown, a lawyer in Chicago. It ends the chapter with the sentence: Conrad Brown, better known to magicians as Alton Sharpe, died in December 2004. (Documents about the case can be retrieved from internet).

In his autobiography 1992, written by John Booth, the name Conrad Brown didn’t get a mention.[6] In his dead certificate he is named Alton Sharpe. His name was obviously changed giving him a new identity.

Addendum: the following names can be found: Conrad Brown, Pvt. C. J. Brown, Jack Conrad Brown, John Conrad Brown, Alton C. Sharpe, Alton Conrad Sharpe, Alton Sharpe, …



  1. M-U-M, Vol. 97, No.7, December 2007, WAS ALTON ACTUALLY ALAN? by John Moehring, page 61
  2. The Linking Ring, Vol. 24, No. 4, June 1944, page 74
  3. Genii 1944 August, Vol. 8, No. 12, page 422
  4. The Linking Ring, Vol. 25, No. 1, March 1945
  5. Genii 2005 February, Vol. 68, No. 2, Obituary - Alton Sharpe, pp. 24, 25
  6. Memoirs of a Magician's Ghost - ALTON SHARPE: LAWYER, SHOP OWNER, ENTERTAINER, by John Booth, in The Linking Ring, Vol. 72, No. 6, June 1992, page 66
  • MAGIC WEB EXTRA: Alton Sharpe 1921-2004
  • Cover Genii 1948 January
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 30, No. 4, June 1950, Sharpe Sorcery, by Milbourne Christopher, page 15
  • M-U-M, Vol. 54, No. 8, January 1965, ALTON SHARPE, magician-of-the-month, by Leslie P. Guest, page 388
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 85, No. 2, February 2005, BROKEN WAND, Alton “Al” Sharpe, page 126
  • M-U-M, Vol. 94, No. 10, March 2005, BROKEN WANDS, Alton Sharpe, page 59