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Paul Rosini

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Paul Rosini
BornPaul Vucic
September 29, 1902
Trieste, Austria (now a territory of Italy)
DiedSeptember 19, 1948 (age 45)
Lawrence Hotel, Chicago

Paul Rosini (1902-1948) became one of the most popular nightclub magicians of the 1930's, and 1940's.


Rosini emigrated to the U.S. in 1912 (coincidentally, the same year as the man who would become his magic idol, Max Malini). The family settled in Chicago, where Paul discovered Roterberg's famous magic shop.

In 1919, impressed by young Paul's abilities, Theo Bamberg (Okito) taught him the cups and balls. He was also mentored and influenced by Julius Zanzig, Carl Rosini (no relation), and Grover George.

Charles J. Maly wrote an unpublished manuscript in 1936 about Rosini's act. Maly watch Rosini perform at the Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. He discussed the effects with Rosini and made detailed notes. These notes were in the collection of Max Hapner, who passed it along to John Moehring. With Hapner's permission, Moehring made the manuscript available to Chuck Romano who used them in Part Two of his book about Rosini called "House of Cards".

In the posthumous book Paul Rosini's Magical Gems by Rufus Steele, John Braun wrote the following:

"Paul Rosini...was an unusually skillful sleight of hand artist, [but ] it was not sleight of hand artistry that he sold to audiences. He had mastered a greater art—-that of blending dexterity and psychology with a priceless ingredient that was his by birthright—-PERSONALITY-—and the result was always entertainment—unalloyed, unadulterated entertainment.
"Shy and unassuming off stage, onstage he was an actor gifted with a rare sense of the comic. The character he played was that of a delightful mountebank—at once disreputable and elegant, waggish yet serious. All his art was utilized in building into miracles the tricks he presented. And they were all old tricks. Nothing new or complicated, just the old tricks...but he could hold a noisy night club audience in suspense while he paused, looked quizzically at the pack, and slowly turned over a card!"

A famous story about Rosini is recounted in "Expert Card Technique" (copyright 1974 by Dover books) wherein Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue write:

"Since the days of the gold rush San Francisco has been known as a city which will not tolerate mediocrity in its actors, but which, conversely, extends a heart-warming reception to any artist of front rank.
"Not often does a personality so swiftly become the talk of the town as did Mr. Paul Rosini...San Francisco took to its heart this dapper, amusing young man with a twinkle in his eye and a shrug of his shoulders who jubilantly challenged it to match wits with him. In a fort-night the necromantic comedian's 'It's a dazzler!' became a city-wide catch phrase...
"Fabulous stories of Rosini's skill with a pack of cards began to penetrate the gambling houses of the city...No one, they felt, could be quite so good as all that. Impressed by what they saw, they invited the magician to be their guest at their established place of business...Presumably they felt that there they would have him at their mercy. But here again, surrounded by men to whom artifice with cards was second nature, Rosini performed his feats with sure skill, particularly perplexing the gamblers by unerringly locating, with unfailing sangfroid, cards of which they had merely thought.
"To the knights of the green table in the city by the Golden Gate, 'It's a dazzler!' now has a special meaning, recalling as it does the amiable young man with the quick wit and the skillful fingers whose final tour-de-force still puzzles those who were present."

Paul Rosini died at age 46.


Chuck Romano wrote in The Linking Ring, Vol. 79, No. 8, August 1999: A reporter of magic must at some point in time have transposed the "I" and "C" at the end of Paul's surname. Consequently, many of magic's most respected historians have unknowingly repeated this inaccuracy and have spelled Paul's surname as "Vucci".



  1. Genii, Vol. 62, No. 9, September 1999, Light from the Lamp, Books Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss, House of Cards: The Life & Magic of Paul Rosini by Chuck Romano, page 56
  • The Sphinx, Vol. XXXVII, No. 9, November 1938, Paul Rosini, page 216
  • The Sphinx, Vol. XLVII, No. 8, October 1948, Obituary Paul Rosini September 29, 1902, September 19, 1948, page 204
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 28, No. 8, October 1948, The Secretary Reports, PAUL ROSINI DEAD, page 106
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 28, No. 9, November 1948, PAUL ROSINI AS I KNEW HIM by Theo. Bamberg (Okito), page 30, My Neighbor, Paul Rosini by AL LEECH, page 31
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 79, No. 8, August 1999, Paul Rosini: Sophisticated Showman by Chuck Romano, page 52
  • House of Cards: The Life & Magic of Paul Rosini (1999) by Chuck Romano, Biography in Chapter I, Birth of a Conjurer, page 1