Neil Foster (1921 - March 11, 1988), born Edgar Neil Foster Jr. in Aurora, Illinois. He first starting performing under the name "Retsof" but stopped when people erroneously called him "Ratsof."
In 1947, Foster went to California to enroll in the Chavez Studio of Magic. When Foster graduated from the course, Ben and Marian Chavez hired Foster to tutor new students.
In 1955, Foster married Jeanne Hammond, and started performing as a magical team touring school-assembly circuit under the sponsorship of the lecture bureaus of the universities of Wisconsin, Minnesota and North and South Dakota.
After a stint for the Ireland Magic Co. in Chicago, Foster moved to Colon in 1959 to become the Abbott Magic Company's chief magician-in-residence and vice president. He became a frequent performer at the annual Abbott's Get-Togethers. In 1960, Foster revived The Tops magazine as the editor of The New Tops.
In 1977, the Academy of Magical Arts presented Foster with the Performing Fellowship Award.
In 1978, Foster became a partner in the Chavez school, eventually acquiring control of its Eastern branch.
In August, 1987, Foster was honored by the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan, which had proclaimed August 9 as "Neil Foster Day."
The former Battle Creek Magic Club was renamed the International Brotherhood of Magicians Neil Foster Ring 89 in his honor.
Foster became known for his trademark presentation of Joe Karson's commercial floating-ball effect, "Zombie," by transforming it from a small-scale trick into a stage-filling dance reminiscent of the routines of Fred Astaire.
Neil Foster performing the Zombie:
- Further Tips on Zombie (1963)
- Tops Treasury of Illusion (1965)
- Tops Treasury of Dove Magic (1965)
- Tops Treasury of Cigarette Magic (1965)