Claude Alexander Conlin (1880-1954)
Claude Alexander Conlin
Alexander C. A., Alexander The Seer,
Alexander The Man Who Knows,
Magician, Mentalist, Psychic Entertainer, Author
Place of Birth
Alexander possessed the ability to apparently look into the minds of others and read their most deepest thoughts.
As a master stage magician and mentalist, Alexander specialized in pyschic reading acts dressed in Oriental style robes, a feathered turban, and used a crystal ball.
Alexander was the highest-paid mentalist in the world in his time. He earned four million dollars over the course of a relatively short career during the 1920s.
Alexander was born Claude Alexander Conlin in 1880, and grew up in southeast Alaska.
He was the son of Berthold Michael James Conlin. Within the family Claude Alexander was known as "C. A." and his brother Clarence B. Conlin was known as "C. B."
Clarence B. had a successful career as an attorney and he also worked as a stage mentalist, although his fame never equalled that of Claude Alexander.
Alexander Started out performing in vaudeville as a stage illusionist.
However, in his mid-thirtees, he eventually discarded the large props and relied on his tremendous skills as a showman to put over an act of mentalism.
So he donned a jeweled turbin, Oriental-garb, and performed as "Alexander The Man Who Knows."
His act was presented in a quasi-Oriental setting with lavish costuming for himself, and several female assistants.
He promoted his psychic act as a form of mind reading. His show consisted of audience members giving Alexander sealed questions, which he amazingly answered from the stage.
Alexander's new show became an instant hit and at the height of his career, he sold out theaters across the United States and Canada for weeks at a time.
He made millions from box office receipts, and from the sale of books, crystal balls, and related merchandise.
He traveled the world, and counted among his friends such show-business luminaries as Alexander Pantages, John Considine, Rudolph Valentine, and Clara Bow.
In his early 40s, he authored many books and wrote under the name "C. Alexander."
In 1921 he wrote and published The Life And Mysteries Of The Celebrated Dr. Q (also known as The Dr. Q. Book), which was later re-published by Nelson Enterprises.
Alexander also operated a publishing house, the C. Alexander Publishing Company in Los Angeles, California.
His company released his own pro-spiritualist and New Thought material, including a multi-volume series called "The Inner Secrets of Psychology" and a booklet for his clients called "Personal Lessons, Codes, and Instructions for Members of the Crystal Silence League."
The back cover of the latter volume displays Alexander's connection to the New Thought movement, for it lists an extensive array of titles that Alexander offered for sale.
Alexander dominated the stage for nearly a decade before retiring in 1924, at the age of 43, the richest man in vaudeville.
Claude Alexander Conlin died in 1954 at age 74.
Return from Claude Alexander Conlin to Magician Biographies
Return to Mentalists page