This series of articles starts with one of the most fascinating stories in the history of magic, let alone mentalism. Alexander’s story is surrounded by intrigue, controversy, and a mixture of fact and fiction (much coming from Alexander himself). Here was an average magic performer, copying acts from other magicians including Houdini’s escape act, striving for a successful formula; he eventually and almost accidentally found fame and a considerable fortune as the world’s leading mind-reader.
Here was a very driven, focused individual, whose strengths included a very good grasp of human psychology, a remarkable understanding of marketing and promotion, a financial astute mind to enable him to profit from his successes and taking ideas from anyone and anywhere to create what was one of the most successful and profitable acts of its time; a performer rigging a stage with underground wires to receive electronic signals in the 1920s, using concealed earpieces under his turban, and hidden listening devices in the toilets of theaters to gain vital information to be used later in his shows.
Add to this a serial adulterer, with up to possibly twelve marriages, bigamy, a suspected murder, money laundering, grand larceny, fraud and drug smuggling, a significant FBI dossier, Alexander’s life was nothing but dull. He is the original man of mystery and his story is simply incredible… read more >