Gerald Kolpan

Magic Words

The tale of a Jewish boy-interpreter, the world's most estimable magician, a murderous harlot, and America's greatest indian chief

by gerald-kolpan Read about him

Alexander Herrmann

World Famous Magician


Alexander Herrmann was the most famous magician in America before Harry Houdini and was well known throughout the world. He still holds the British record for most consecutive sold out nights by a single performer. His stage illusions and close up magic were among the most innovative of their time. Alexander was also famous for his practical jokes. Once while dining with comedian Ben Nye, he produced a diamond ring from beneath a lettuce leaf. While Alex was laughing, Nye gave it to their waitress (the incident formed the basis for an incident in Magic Words). He lived in a fabulous mansion called Herrmann Manor in Whitestone Landing, Long Island and owned the yacht, Fra Diavolo. In 1896, he died of a sudden heart attack in Great Valley, New York. He was 52. Alexander Herrmann rests at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Although there is some evidence that Julius and Alexander were related (Alexander’s mother’s maiden name was in fact, Meyer), and the historical record shows that they knew each other (the performance and attempted murder of Alex at the Ponca camp which appears in Magic Words is a true story), the idea that they were first cousins is purely conjecture on the author’s part.