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Revision as of 17:56, 3 February 2017 by Gary1926 (Talk | contribs) (Corrected birth place and year according to Census records of 1940.)

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BornJohn J. Grdina
May 26 1886
DiedMay 2, 1975 (age 88)
Cleveland, Ohio

Grdina (1886-1975) was a professional magicians at the age of 21, who left showbiz after a dozen years to become a banker.[1]


Grdina came to America at the age of 5 and received his education in the Catholic schools in Cleveland, Ohio.

After leaving school, at the age of 15, he became a printer's apprentice. Three years later he became the owner and publisher of a daily and Sunday paper. After three years of publishing, he sold his plant and business, accepting a position in a bank. During his spare time he studied magic. On Feb. 12th, 1907, he married Miss Minnie M. Riedel, who became his assistant. Their first public magical performance was given on Feb. 17th, 1907.[2]
cover of Genii (1946)

In 1920, The Cleveland Magicians Club was formed and Grdina was one of the founders. He became known as the Dean of Cleveland Magicians. [3]

During his forty some years in magic, he has instructed and built acts for more than 25 magicians.[4] Blackstone never performed his Dancing Handkerchief in Cleveland without publicly announcing he was taught the trick by Grdina. [5]

Grdina retired from banking in 1959 at age 74 and started offering free shows for orphans and the aged. He was active until his death.[6]

He was friends with vaudeville comedian Fred Wicks.


  1. Cover, Sphinx, February 1913
  2. cover American Magician September 1911
  3. The Linking Ring for October, 1960
  4. JOHN J. GRDINA By Dell O'Dell in Linking Ring January 1947
  5. Obit Linking Ring June 1975 and MUM July 1975
  6. Linking Ring April 1962