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Milbourne Christopher: The Magician, Historian, and Writer

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Discover the life and career of Milbourne Christopher, a renowned magician, magic historian, and writer who made significant contributions to the magic community.

Explore his published works, famous quotes, and the lasting impact of his work on the world of magic.

Milbourne Christopher in handcuffs and a burst of light coming from behind
A look at the life of Magician, Historian and Author, Milbourne Christopher


Table of Contents:


Milbourne Christopher

Welcome to another world's greatest magicians profile from Magician Masterclass!

Today, we're exploring the life and career of Milbourne Christopher, a multifaceted figure in the world of magic who made significant contributions as a magician, historian, and writer.

Join us as we delve into his accomplishments and the lasting impact of his work on the magic community.

Watch Milbourne Christopher appears on the TV Show "I've Got a Secret"


Early Life and Interest in Magic

Magician Milbourne Christopher holding a pan with flames coming out of it
Milbourne Christopher (retouched and colourized)

Milbourne Christopher was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 23, 1914.

He developed a fascination with magic at a young age and began performing professionally in his teens.

His passion for magic would lead to a lifelong career encompassing performing, writing, and historical research.


The Magician: Performances and Accomplishments

As a magician, Christopher was known for his unique style and engaging stage presence. He performed in various venues, including television shows, and was well-respected within the magic community for his skills and creativity.

Milbourne Christopher performing the Hindu Sword Basket illusion.


The Magic Historian: Research and Publications

Milbourne Christopher dedicated much of his life to researching the history of magic, and his work helped to preserve and promote the rich heritage of the art.

He published numerous articles on magic history and famous magicians, contributing significantly to the understanding and appreciation of the magic community's past.


The Writer: Books and Articles on Magic

Christopher's writing career encompassed a wide range of topics within the world of magic.

Some of Milbourne Christophers published books include:

  • 1942 - Tips on Tricks

  • 1945 - More Tips on Tricks

  • 1947 - Magic at your Fingertips (with Hen Fetsch)

  • 1948 - 50 Tricks with a Thumb Tip

  • 1949 - Conjuring With Christopher

  • 1952 - One Man Mental Magic

  • 1954 - Magic from M-U-M (compilation)

  • 1956 - Panorama of Prestidigitators

  • 1962 - Panorama of Magic

  • 1969 - Houdini: the Untold Story

  • 1970 - ESP, Seer & Psychics: What the Occult Really Is

  • 1973 - The Illustrated History of Magic

  • 1975 - Mediums, Mystics, & the Occult: New Revelations about Psychics and their Secrets

  • 1976 - Houdini: A Pictorial Life

  • 1977 - Milbourne Christopher's Magic Book

  • 1979 - Search for the Soul: An Insider's Report on the Continuing Quest by Psychics & Scientists for Evidence of Life After Death

  • 1991 - Magic: A Picture History

His writings have had a lasting impact on the magic community, providing valuable insights and information for enthusiasts and professionals alike.


Debunking Psychic Phenomena and the Paranormal

In addition to his work in magic, Christopher was also interested in investigating psychic phenomena and the paranormal.

He made significant efforts to debunk fraudulent claims and expose charlatans, contributing to the field of skepticism and critical thinking.


Awards and Recognition

Milbourne Christopher received numerous awards and honors for his work in magic, writing, and historical research.

Two of the most notable awards include:

  • The Academy of Magical Arts Outstanding Contribution to Magic (1969)

  • The Academy of Magical Arts Lecturer of the Year (1975)

His contributions to the magic community earned him recognition both within the world of magic and beyond.


Personal Life and Legacy

Christopher married and had a family, and his passion for magic continued throughout his life.

He passed away on June 17, 1984, but his impact on the magic community lives on through his writings, research, and the Milbourne Christopher Foundation, which promotes magic and preserves his legacy.


The Milbourne Christopher Award

In honor of Milbourne Christopher's contributions to the world of magic, the Milbourne Christopher Foundation established the Milbourne Christopher Award in 1989.

This prestigious award recognizes outstanding individuals in various magic-related fields, including performance, writing, invention, and research.

The Milbourne Christopher Award is presented annually in various categories:

  1. Master's Award: Awarded to a magician who has significantly impacted the magic community through their performances, creativity, and innovation.

  2. Lifetime Award: Awarded to a magician who has made significant contributions to magic the art of magic.

  3. Literary & Media Achievement: Recognizes outstanding contributions to the world of magic through writing, publishing, or other media-related work.

  4. Magic Historian: Honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the research and preservation of magic history.

  5. Illusionist: Awarded to a magician with exceptional skill and creativity in illusion and stage magic.

  6. Mentalist Award: Recognizes a performer significantly contributing to mentalism and psychic entertainment.

  7. Ambassador of Magic: Honors an individual who has been key in promoting and advancing the art of magic globally.

Past winners include David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Billy McComb, Eric DeCamps, John Gaughn, Topas, Steve Cohen, Banachek, Tony Clark, and many more!

By recognizing and celebrating the achievements of these individuals, the Milbourne Christopher Award helps to inspire future generations of magicians to continue pushing the boundaries of the art and to uphold the legacy of Milbourne Christopher and his dedication to the world of magic.



Milbourne Christopher was a true master of many aspects of the world of magic, leaving a lasting impact through his performances, writings, and historical research.

As we celebrate his life and legacy, let us remember the importance of preserving the rich history of magic and the contributions of those who came before us.


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