5 Things To know About… Harry HOUDINI
1 He criticised his idol
His stage name came from his nickname ‘Ehrie’, pronounced ‘Harry’, and the surname of his idol, French conjurer Jeaneugène roberthoudin, who he later accused of stealing people’s tricks.
2 He loved to fly
in 1909 Houdini bought a French Voisin biplane, which he then crashed during his first flight. Some historians credit him today with being the first person to ever pilot an airplane in Australia.
3 His cause of death is debated
Many believe he was punched while boasting about his strong abdominal muscles, failing to tense them in time for the impact, while some think he was killed by spiritualists seeking revenge.
4 His wife was his assistant
He met dancer Bess rahner while performing in Coney island, and she replaced his brother as his stage assistant. She continued to work with him for the rest of his career.
5 He helped in wwi
As well as entertaining soldiers and raising money for the war effort, Houdini also trained American troops to escape from restraints in the event of capture by the Germans.