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John J. Gillis

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John J. Gillis
BornFebruary 3, 1897
Boston, Massachusetts
Diedcirca 1956 (age 59)

John J. Gillis (1897-c.1956) was a semi-professional magician specializing in illusion and escape work.


Gillis contributed to the Sphinx in the 1920s while he lived in Pittsburgh. The Sphinx reports him lecturing lecturing and presenting magic at Thurston Museum in Chicago.[1]

He was a member of the I. B. M., the Houdini Club of Philadelphia, and World-Wide Magicians' Society [2]

Following local reports in the Linking Ring we find Gillis in Harrisburg,Pa in 1934. In 1935, he moves to Williamsport, Pa. and playing a "clean comedy act, no exposes" club dates in Pittsburgh. Next we find him living in Duquesne, Pa. in 1937 and then in the 1950s at the Veterans' Hospital in Butler, Pa.

Carl S. Lohrey passed along in a comment in the June, 1961 issue of the Magicol newsletter, that Gillis died around 1956.[3]


  1. Sphinx,October, 1925 page 234
  2. Who's Who in Magic, Sphinx, September, 1931
  3. Magicol, June, 1961