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Bill Severn

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Bill Severn
BornWilliam Irving Severn
May 11, 1914
Brooklyn, New York
DiedMay 8, 1992 (age 77)
Lee, Massachusetts
CategoriesBooks by Bill Severn

Bill Severn (1914-1992) was a journalist and professional club act magician specializing in cigarettes and silks. [1][2]


William Irving Severn, better known as Bill Severn, was a magician, journalist, and author of more than 50 nonfiction books on a variety of subjects, including biography, civics, social history, language, and children's pastimes. He co-wrote four of his books with his wife, Sue Schulz Severn, whom he married in 1936.

Born on May 11, 1914, in Brooklyn, New York, to William and Margaret (Stone) Severn, he attended public schools in Montclair, New Jersey. The son of a New York newspaper executive, Severn spent 15 years working at a variety of newspapers and radio stations in 22 cities.

In the 1930s, Severn worked as an editor and columnist for the Farmingdale Post and other Long Island newspapers as well as a magician in New York, specializing in magic with cigarettes and silks. In 1935, he joined the Transradio Press Service, which supplied news to radio stations by teleprinter and shortwave. Following that, he worked for the Buffalo Evening News for a year, writing newscasts for the company's radio stations. In 1941, he joined The Associated Press, where he was radio news editor. While still a journalist, he began writing short stories and articles and eventually became a freelance writer in 1945.

As a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM), the Society of American Magicians (SAM), and an Associate of The Magic Circle in London, Severn wrote more than 25 books on magic and penned the Magic column for Boys' Life magazine from 1975 until his death on May 8, 1992.

He donated 56 boxes of literary files (16.20 cu.ft. of materials) to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi.


  • Magic Wherever You Are (1957)
  • Shadow Magic (1959)
  • Magic in Your Pocket (1965)
  • Magic Across The Table (1972)
  • Bill Severn's Big Book of Magic (1973)
  • Magic in Mind: Mental Magic Tricks (1974)
  • Bill Severn's Magic Workshop (1976)
  • Bill Severn's Guide to Magic as a Hobby (1979)
  • More Magic In Your Pockets (1980)
  • Bill Severn's Impromptu Magic (1982)
  • Magic with Rope, Ribbon and String (1982)
  • Magic Fun for Everyone (1986)
  • Bill Severn's Amazing Magic (1992)
  • Magic with Paper
  • Magic Shows You Can Give
  • Packs of Fun
  • Magic Comedy
  • Bill Severn's Magic Trunk (a reissuing of Magic with Paper, Magic Shows You Can Give, Magic Comedy, and Magic in Your Pockets)
  • Magic with Coins and Bills
  • Bill Severn's Big Book of Close-Up Magic
  • Bill Severn's Best Magic
  • 50 Ways to Have Fun with Newspaper


  1. The Sphinx, Vol. 33, No. 3, May 1934, Who's Who in Magic, page 80
  • Cover, M-U-M, Vol. 78, No. 10, March 1989, BILL SEVERN, Magician of the Month, page 10
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 72, No. 7, July 1992, Broken Wand, Bill Severn, page 120
  • M-U-M, Vol. 82, No. 2, July 1992, Broken Wands, Bill Severn, page 41
  • Cover, The Linking Ring, Vol. 72, No. 8, August 1992, BILL SEVERN, Hocus Pocus Parade, by Phil Willmarth, page 71