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Edward Maro

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Edward Maro

Cover of Sphinx (March 1908)
BornWalter Truman Best
September 25, 1868
Montpelier Vermont
DiedFebruary 26, 1908 (age 39)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Resting placeNorth Cemetery, St. Charles, Illinois

Edward Maro (1868-1908), the stage name of Walter Truman Best was one of the first successful headlining magician on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits who billed himself as the "Prince of Magic". He was a shadowgraphist, musician, and artist.


He worked from 1892 until his death. Maro was also a photographer and a member of a professional saxophone quartet. He played the gogglepeg, a one stringed instrument of his own invention.

Maro spent his vacations near Leland, in Northern Michigan, at his workshop where he built and designed all the paraphernalia pertaining for his performances. When not doing magic he arranged or composed music, painted and sketched. He also tutored magician John Blackledge.

Eugene Laurant took his place on the circuit after his death.

Maro died of typhoid fever after his last performance in Philadelphia in 1908. His last requests were to be buried in St. Charles and also have a 3-ton, 6-foot-high boulder brought from Leland to St. Charles as his grave marker.

Year of birth

David Price in his "Magic A Pictorial History History of Conjurers in the Theater" stated that he had a letter in the Egyptian Hall Museum handwritten by Maro himself giving the date as September 25, 1869. His gravesite marker is in St. Charles, Illinois.

Honors and Awards