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Ronny Cortes

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Ronny Cortes
BornRonny H. Cortes
March 8, 1914
Tampa, Florida
DiedSeptember 19, 2009 (age 95)

Ronny Cortes (1914-2009) was a very active member of the magic community.


His father, a native of Spain, was editor and publisher of a daily newspaper in the Spanish language. After high school, Cortes enrolled at the University of Tampa for a year, then transferred to U.C.L.A in California. But after only one semester, he drafted into the army. His commanding officer learned of his show business activities and gave Cortes additional duty as Special Services Coordinator. He perform magic as needed and greeted the traveling U.S.O. Shows which visited Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He was then selected for pilot training, and Cortes began flying a plane over enemy lines as a liaison pilot and air observer for U.S. Artillery. About two years of reconnaissance duty Captain Cortes became a line officer, commanding a battery in France and Germany.[1]

After the war, he returned to U.C.L.A. to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Upon his graduation, he was hired by Shell Oil Company, which he worked for the next twenty-seven years. For several years, until his managerial responsibilities became too great, he presented a magic show on behalf of Shell, called "The Magic Barrel," which showed off some of the synthetic materials made out of oil.

Cortes was sent to Houston, Texas, by the company, where he joined S.A.M. Assembly No. 19. Upon his return to Southern California he transferred to Assembly No. 22. In addition, he was a member of I.B.M. Ring 39 and an Associate of the Magic Circle (A.I.M.C.) of London.

When the S.A.M. Hall of Fame and Magic Museum was started, Cortes was one of the very first to volunteer his services becoming a member of its governing Board of Management, and also Contributions Chairman.[2]

He has performed many times on the annual Night of Magic show of Assembly No. 22 and the annual Stars of Magic Revue for the S.A.M. Hall of Fame.

Awards and honors


  1. Cover, MUM, June 1975
  2. Obit, MUM, December 2009