John Mulholland Template:PersonInfo was born in Chicago, but moved to New York City when young with his mother.
He started performing as a teenager and went on to become authority on magic. He was taught by John William Sargent. He performed in forty-two countries, authored ten books and performed at the White house eight times. His 90-minute stage show was carried in two suitcases. He was also served as consultant on conjuring for the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Merriam-Webster dictionary. He was also at one time, the only magician listed in "Who's Who in American".
In the 1930s, he took over the largest magic magazine at it's time The Sphinx after the death of A. M. Wilson, which he was the editor for 23 years. Mulholland stopped the Sphinx to become a consultant to the newly created CIA in 1953 (although he told his subscribers it was due to health reasons).
Recruited by Sidney Gottleib for the top secret CIA project "MK-ULTRA", his assignments included working with billionaires and inventors, cracking codes and delving into the world of ESP research, LSD use and writing a manual on deception. He wrote classified manuscripts for the CIA. Two that are known are "Some Operational Applications of the Art of Deception" and "Recognition Signals" in 1954. He continued to work for the CIA at least until 1958.
Mulholland, at the time, had one of the largest collection of magic memorabilia and apparatus with over 4,000 books.
He invented the Mulholland Box (a type of Okito coin box).
- Conjurer and Pedagogue (with Milton M. Smith 1924)
- Magic in the Making (with Milton M. Smith 1925)
- Behind the Magician's Curtain (1928)
- Quicker than the Eye (1932)
- The Magic and Magicians of the World (1932)
- Mulholland's Story of Magic (1935)
- Modern Magician: A Pocket Manual of Tricks (1937)
- Beware Familiar Spirits (1938)
- The Girl in the Cage (a novel with Cortland Fitzsimmons, 1939)
- Christmas Conjurer (ca. 1940)
- Magic in the Library (1943)
- The Art of Illusion: Magic for men to do (1944)
- Magic for Entertaining, The Early Magic Shows ( Reprint of "Art of Illusions" 1945)
- Practical Puppetry (1961)
- John Mulholland's Book of Magic (1963)
- Magic of the World (1965)
- The Magical Mind - Key to Successful Communications (with George Gordon 1967)
- Cover Genii 1937 October
- Cover Genii 1964 July
- Cover Genii 1965 November
- Genii 2001 April: THE SPHINX AND THE SPY The Clandestine World of John Mulholland By Michael Edwards
- Genii 2003 August: Some Operational Applications of the Art of Deception
- The MagiCIAn: John Mulholland's Secret Life by Ben Robinson (2008)
- The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception by Melton and Wallace (2009)