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Ernie Heldman

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Ernie Heldman
BornErnest Heldman
January 27, 1916
St. Louis, Missiouri
DiedNovember 8, 1977 (age 61)
New Orleans

Ernie Heldman (1916-1977) was one of St. Louis' outstanding magicians from early 1947 until 1962.


Prior to World War II, Heldman worked as a part time magician until he was drafted into the army. After the war, he took a sales job, continuing with magic as a hobby.

In September 1947, an advertising-agency executive saw him perform and3 suggested that he do TV commercial (television was very new at the time). He did a one minute ad for Sunrise Meats in which he produced a string hot dogs out of a newspaper while he talked about Sunrise Meats. This was so successful that it led to a six-month contract doing live one-minute spots doing a different magic trick each time.

Heldman eventually quit his job to perform magic professionally full time. By 1949, the one minute spots had become a live 15-minute magic show called "Parade of Magic", sponsored by Pepsi Cola. It ran until 1962.

In 1961, Ernie opened a night club called Psycho House in St. Louis' Gaslight Square which lasted only a few years.

Heldman wrote Linking Ring articles (Television Trickery) about working on early television [1]

He served as President of IBM Ring One in St. Louis and later IBM Ring 27 in New Orleans. He was also one of the founders of the St. Louis Midwest Magic Jubilee.[2][3]


  • In 1995, Heldman was awarded the St. Louis Magical Heritage Award posthumously.


  1. Magic as Seen on TV by Bill McIlhany, Magic, January 1999 and Linking Ring July, August Sept. 1949
  2. Obit, Linking Ring, January, 1978
  3. History of Magic in St. Louis by Don Rataj (2011)