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Paul Duke

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Paul Duke
BornFebruary 17, 1895
Kiev, Russia
DiedJune 28, 1981 (age 86)
N. Miami Beach, Florida

Paul Duke (1895-1981) was a Russian born professional magician. He entertained at the White House during Franklin Roosevelt's presidency, appeared before King George VI of England and performed for the Emperor of Japan. [1]


As a youth, Duke had worked as an assistant to Harry Houdini. After starting out on his own, he began performing in New York in 1935 with an act, called "A Symphony in Smoke", produced cigarettes and cigars.

In 1943, Duke was in the Ice Follies at the Center Theatre in New York, performing his act on ice skates.

His son, Marvin, started perform as Paul Duke, Jr. (fl. 1930s-1940s). By 1940, they were doing a double act.[2]

Around 1948, Duke expanded his smart act into a ninety-minute show, adding such effects as "Thought Transmission," "Seeing with Fingertips," and threading sharp razor blades in his mouth.[3]

He later worked on cruise ships and during the 1950s entertained at remote parts of Japan and Korea as part of the U.S.O. shows.


  1. Obit, Linking Ring, August, 1981
  2. The World's Fair, November 1940
  3. Magic: A Pictorial History of Conjurers in the Theater by David Price (1985)