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Johnny Paul

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Johnny Paul

Cover of Genii (1983)
BornJohn Paul Zielinski, Jr.
January 15, 1912
Chicago, Illinois
DiedAugust 20, 1991 (age 79)
Las Vegas, Nevada

Johnny Paul (1912-1991), born and raised in Chicago, began as a comedy bartender, combining juggling with drink mixing.


In the 1930s he started doing close-up magic in the Gay Nineties room at the La Salle Hotel in Chicago, becoming one of America's first bar magicians. Later he went on to do trade show work.

In 1946 he opened Johnny Paul's Magic Lounge near Chicago and had his own thirty minute TV show. He also performed at conventions, nationwide, for Caterpillar, a well known manufacturer of heavy equipment, for some 27 years.

He opened two supper clubs in California before moving to Las Vegas in 1959. He became the featured magician at the Showboat Hotel in 1962, performing as "the Amusing and Confusing Johnny Paul." He later became the Hotel's entertainment director, which he held until his retirement in June 1990.

Johnny's "Jazz" Cups and Balls routine was never the same twice, making it up as he went along. Pete Biro manufactured an authorized set of Johnny Paul Cups. They were available on an exclusive basis through Stevens Magic Emporium. They were a special design that was made to just fit the sponge balls he used.

He was a member of the SAM and I.B.M. Chicago's Ring 43.


Wife: Winnie; daughter: Anina Arnone; sons: John, Jr. and James.


  • Johnny Paul, the Greater Magic Video Library (1986)


  • The Sphinx, Vol. 49, No. 3, May 1950, John Paul-Cicero’s Celebrity by Frances Ireland, page 58
  • M-U-M, Vol. 45, No. 5, October 1955, JOHN PAUL magician-of-the-month by Leslie P. Guest, page 206
  • Genii, Vol. 47, No. 2, February 1983, Las Vegas' Johnny Paul, page 118
  • The Magic Circular, Vol. 85, No. 919, Sep-Oct 1991, MEMORIES OF JOHNNY PAUL, page 203
  • Genii, Vol. 55, No. 1, November 1991, Obituaries, Johnny Paul, page 61
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 71, No. 11, November 1991, JOHNNY PAUL, page 114
  • M-U-M, Vol. 81, No. 6, November 1991, BROKEN WANDS JOHNNY PAUL, page 37
  • Bio-bibliographisches Lexikon der Zauberkünstler Edition Volker Huber, April 2002, Zielinski Jr., John Paul = Johnny Paul, USA Zauberkünstler (*15.01.1912 Chicago Illinois), page 381