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John Jay

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John Jay
BornJohn Gallagher Patrick Hreha
November 28, 1931
DiedDecember 1, 2002 (age 71)
Tacoma, Washington

John Jay (1931-2002) was the stage name of professional magician and mentalist John Hreha (pronounced: "REE-uh").[1][2]


Hreha began his career in magic at a young age by saving money to purchase tricks from the Vernon Lux Magic Studios. But it was after seeing Blackstone, Sr. at the Temple Theatre in Tacoma, Washington that he became enthralled with the art. Blackstone provided Hreha an autographed copy of a program which he cherished.

In 1948, two years before graduating from Lincoln High School, Hreha and his magic friends formed Tacoma Ring No. 70 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, which he would serve as president.

As part of a National Safety Week campaign, he drove a 1954 Mercury automobile from Olympia to Tacoma while blindfolded.

Hreha eventually quit full time performing and to join The Boeing Co., which he worked from 1959 to 1990 as an industrial budget and forecasting expert. He was known for the company's Frugal McDougal campaign to conserve energy resources.

He won the best comedy act award at the 1953 Convention of Pacific Coast Association of Magicians (PCAM) and was later received an Award of Merit at the 1968 PCAM Convention.

His wife, LaMoyne, a ventriloquist, played "Penny" on ""PENNY and Her Pals"" from the late 1950s through the early 1970s on Tacoma's KTVW Channel 13 (now KCPQ) [3]


  1. Obit, The IBM Ring 70 Gimmick, December 15, 2002