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Howie Schwarzman

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Howie Schwarzman
BornHoward K. Schwarzman, Jr.
November 21, 1927
New York

Howie Schwarzman (b. 1927, New York) is an American magician, card manipulator, sleight of hand expert, and trick inventor.

Considered a "living legend" in the Eastern United States magician community, he is best-known as a columnist within the magic magazines, and an importer of very rare tricks from outside the United States.

Biography

In his youth, Schwarzman was considered a "red-headed prodigy", and was mentored by New York orchestra leader Richard Himber, creator of the Linking Finger-Ring trick. Schwarzman was known for pulling pranks at Himber's request, such as impersonating mentalist Joseph Dunninger. In 1962, Schwarzman began mentoring the teenaged Denny Haney, who he booked to perform at the Society of American Magicians.

Schwarzman was one of the charter members of F.A.M.E., the "Future American Magical Entertainers", a magic club created for young magicians in New York City in the 1940s, under the tutelage of Professor Abe Hurwitz, father of Shari Lewis.

Schwarzman became a magic dealer in 1976 and specialized in rare imported tricks, notably from European magicians like Lubor Fiedler. He also wrote a popular column, "I've Said It Before", for Tannen’s Magic Manuscript Magazine, and in M-U-M. At a time when other magicians were publishing books, notes and more, Schwarzman stayed notably silent, publishing only "Dynamic Deceptions," a staple-bound pamphlet which he used as the basis for many of his lectures. He issued a second set of notes, featuring his handling of John Ramsay's "Three Coins in the Hat" routine. Schwarzman's instructions for this effect ran 65 steps, and incorporated 18 illustrations of hand positions.

He has been a member of the Parent Assembly No. 1 of the Society of American Magicians for 45 years, and was named "Magician of the Year" in 2007. He is also a long time attendee at FFFF, "Fechter's Finger Flinging Frolic," an invitation-only convention for close-up magicians held in upstate New York. In 2008, Schwarzman was named the recipient of a performing fellowship at the Magic Castle.

When Schwarzman first began to lecture at magicians clubs in 1961, Dai Vernon said of him, "In the last few years, you have certainly taken your place among the top flight card men in New York ... I think I'm familiar with the work of almost everyone interested in card handling, both professional and amateur, in this country. I unhesitatingly assert you can hold your own in the fastest company." A dozen years before, Vernon wrote that Schwarzman was "one of the younger and better magic performers."

Schwarzman retired in 1993, but attended many major magic conventions and gave occasional lectures until recent years. He also had his pilot's license, and owned several aircraft. He currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Bibliography

  • Dynamic Deceptions: Close Up Magic by Howard Schwarzman (lecture notes) (1961)
  • MUM Reprint of Howard Schwarzman's column "I've Said It Before" from May 2007 onwards

References

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  • M-U-M, Vol. 56, No. 3, August 1966, Magician-of-the-Month, by Leslie P. Guest, page 4
  • M-U-M, Vol. 96, No. 11, April 2007, HOWARD SCHWARZMAN 2007 Magician of the Year, by John Moehring, page 62, I've Said it Before by Howard Schwarzman, page 62
  • M-U-M, Vol. 99, No. 8, January 2010, Fechter's Finger Flinging Frolic by Steve Marshall, page 68
  • Best of Friends, Volume III (2007), Short Biography, page 365