|Born||May 12, 1915|
|Died||June 2, 1992 (age 77) |
Fetaque Sanders (pronounced "Fee-take") toured with the USO during World War II, performing for African American troops in the then-segregated US Armed Forces. After the war, Sanders continued to perform his magic act until 1962.
Sanders began his professional career in 1933 setting out to Chicago for a part in a stage show that would be performed at the World's Fair.
After he finished his classes at Tennessee State in the spring of 1938, he bought a second-hand set of Punch and Judy figures. Designing and building a cabinet for their performance, he developed a variety act including puppetry and impressions of well-known figures (black and white).
In January 1939, Sanders appeared at the Society for the Study of Negro History in Washington, D.C. Finding many opportunities he relocated to the District of Columbia. Sanders married Irene Kennedy, who had been a volunteer from the audience at one of his shows, in 1942. Irene joined her his show as his onstage assistant. The two performed on Broadway in New York City in May 1943 (a gala event directed by Orson Welles).
He was featured in a December 1949 Ebony magazine article on black magicians.
In 1958 Sanders suffered a stroke brought on by overwork which impaired his peripheral vision and in 1962 at the age of forty-seven he was forced to retire. He returned to Nashville and became a magic collector.
In March 1983, Sanders was struck by a car while out looking for magic material in second-hand stores. He never fully recovered and spent the last decade of his lite as an invalid. He eventually died of complications from pneumonia on June 2, 1992.
He was elected into the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame and Magic Museum.
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