James Randi, a magician whose many TV appearances led him to a second career as a respected paranormal investigator, has died at 92. The James Randi Foundation confirmed his death in a tweet on Tuesday, saying he died of “age-related causes.”
Born Randall James Zwinge in 1928, he entered show business as a teenager, touring with a carnival and working nightclubs in his native Toronto, Canada. Initially billed as The Great Randall: Telepath, parlayed that name into a mind-reading act and a knack for predicting the future.
Unlike many magicians and performers, Randi was not averse to letting fans know that he was a trickster, relying on subterfuge and slight of hand to pull off his tricks. As his career grew, adding escape artist to his bag of stunts, he grew increasingly worried about the people who refused to embrace the fact that it was all an act.
Thus, even as his career blossomed into national prominence and frequent television appearances, he also began a quest to prove to the masses that they were being deceived.
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