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Joseph Leeming

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Joseph Leeming

Joseph Leeming, circa 1968
BornJune 15 1897
Brooklyn, New York
DiedSeptember 26 1968 (age 71)
Folkestone, England
Resting placeForest Lawn Cemetery
Known forWriting prolificacy
AwardsBoy's Club of American Junior Book Award for Fun with Puzzles
CategoriesBooks by Joseph Leeming

Joseph Leeming (June 15, 1897–September 26, 1968) was one of magic's most prolific American authors. During his lifetime, he wrote 10 instructional books on magic and 49 other nonfiction books about a variety of topics, such as puzzles, games, crafts, ships, history, and business. A "modern Angelo Lewis," as Robert Lund once called him[1], Leeming sometimes wrote under pseudonyms, including Professor Paradise, Professor Zingara, Merlin Swift, and Jo-Ann Leeming.

As a young man, his passion for ships and the sea drove him to work as a sailor and enlist in the United States Navy as a first lieutenant before graduating from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1918. He also worked as a correspondent and photographer for the Cuba Review, a monthly magazine published by the Munson Steamship Line, and published his first book, Ships and Cargoes, in 1926.

In addition to writing his own books, Leeming contributed articles and book reviews to magazines and newspapers and worked as a news editor, writer, and public-affairs officer for the United States Department of State (DOS). He also served as an information officer at the Department of the United States Information Agency (USIA) for eight years before retiring in 1960.

Leeming had a brother and two sisters, a wife, and two children. He died in Folkestone, England, at the age of 71 and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York, with his wife, Una (Martin) Leeming (1896–1995).


  • Ships and Cargoes (1926)
  • The New Book of Magic (1927, as Professor Paradise)
  • Magic for Everybody (1928)
  • Peaks of Invention (1928)
  • Things Any Boy Can Make (1929)
  • The Complete Magician's Manual (1935, as Professor Zingara)
  • More Things Any Boy Can Make (1936)
  • Fun with Boxes (1937)
  • Models Any Boy Can Build (1938)
  • The Costume Book for Parties and Plays (1938)
  • Tricks Any Boy Can Do (1938)
  • Fun with Paper (1939)
  • The Book of American Fighting Ships (1939)
  • From Barter to Banking (1940)
  • Fun with String (1940)
  • Modern Export Packing (1940)
  • Card Tricks Anyone Can Do (1941)
  • Fun with Leather (1941)
  • Fun with Wood (1942)
  • Modern Ship Stowage (1942)
  • Brave Ships of England and America (1943)
  • Fun with Magic (1943)
  • Games to Make and Play at Home (1943)
  • Brave Ships of World War II (1944)
  • Fun with Clay (1944)
  • Fun with Plastics (1946)
  • Fun with Puzzles (1946)
  • How to Be the Life of the Party in Five Easy Lessons (1946, as Professor Zingara, later edition of The Complete Magician's Manual)
  • Secrets of Magic (1946, as Merlin Swift)
  • Toy Boats to Make at Home (1946)
  • More Fun with Puzzles (1947)
  • Complete Book of Showers and Engagement Parties (1948, as Jo-Ann Leeming, with Margaret Gleeson)
  • Money-Making Hobbies (1948)
  • More Fun with Magic (1948)
  • The Washington Story (1948)
  • Papercraft (1949)
  • Tricks and Stunts with Playing Cards (1949)
  • Fun with Fabrics (1950)
  • Holiday Craft and Fun (1950)
  • Rayon: The First Man-made Fiber (1950)
  • The Real Book about Magic (1951)
  • The Real Book about Easy Music-Making (1952)
  • Fun for Young Collectors (1953)
  • Jobs that Take You Places (1953)
  • Riddles, Riddles, Riddles (1953)
  • The First Book of Chess (1953)
  • The Real Book of Games (1953)
  • Fun with Beads (1954)
  • The Real Book of Science Experiments (1954)
  • The White House in Picture and Story (1954)
  • Fun with Pencil and Paper (1955)
  • Fun with Wire (1956)
  • Fun with Shells (1958)
  • How to Make and Have Fun with Artificial Flowers (1959)
  • Jokes, Riddles, Puns (1959, coauthor with Helen Hoke)
  • How to Make and Have Fun with Greeting Cards (1960)
  • Kitchen Table Fun (1961, coauthor with Avery Nagle)
  • Tales of the Mystic East (1961, translator and foreword)
  • Yoga and the Bible (1963)
  • Fun with Naturecraft (1964, coauthor with Avery Nagle)


  1. Lund, Robert. Abracadabra, vol. 46, no. 1185, 12 Oct. 1968, p. 235.