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W. W. Durbin

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W. W. Durbin
BornWilliam W. Durbin
September 29, 1866
Kenton, Ohio
DiedFebruary 4, 1937 (age 70)

William W. Durbin(1866-1937) was a politician, magician and owner of the the American Egyptian Hall Theater and Museum from Ohio.

With a brief career as a professional magician from 1897 to 1902, William "W.W." Durbin was better known as a lawyer and politician in Ohio. The highlight of his political career was a plum appointment by FDR to serve as Registrar of the U.S. Treasury. Applying his political savvy to the magic arena, he became the first elected president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and an editor for the Linking Ring (1927 until 1937). He also wrote a series entitled "My life in Magic" for the magazine just before he passed away.

Durbin created a tiny Egyptian Hall theater in his home, launched the first magic convention and was an avid, if careless, collector of magic memorabilia. His collection (which he started in 1895) became the nucleus of the Egyptian Hall Museum collection, later stewarded by magic historian David Price, in 1953. Durbin also bestowed a great gift on magic collectors -- to entice top performers -- such as Downs and Cardini -- to appear at I.B.M. conventions, Durbin subsidized the creation of attractive window cards, usually featuring photos of the performers and artwork from their lithographic posters. These beautiful creations have become highly prized by collectors.

His act was described in Holden's Programmes of Famous Magicians.

IBM Ring No. 71 in Ohio is now called the W. W. Durbin Ring in his honor.