Al Koran (1914-1972)
Al Koran was born Edward Doe in Britain. Koran started out as a hairdresser before becoming a professional magician/mentalist.
He began his career as a close-up performer and gained a reputation for his incredible card effects; among them a card stab which fooled well-posted magicians, and which was described in "Mastered Amazement."
Though not an inventor of effects, Koran possessed the ability to see magic from a lay person's point of view; he was thus able to take long-negected magical concepts and create with them strong presentations.
After a time he shifted the focus of his performances to mental magic, and here he achieved his greatest successes, including his own television series.
Unlike many magicians who have specialized in mental magic, however, Koran often wove conventional magic into the presentation of his mental feats; he might, for example, divine the contents of a locked box-and then cause the box to vanish.
In 1964, a book titled "Bring Out The magic In Your Mind" was published, supposedly written by Koran but actually ghosted; it was a combination of self-help positive-thinking advice with a number of publicity stories about Koran.
The book has been described as the "world's thickest advertising brochure."
In 1969, Koran moved to Chicago, Illinois, and he began to build a new career in the united States making frequent appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show; shortly thereafter he was stricken with cancer, however, and died two years later.
After Koran's passing from cancer his ashes were handled by his good friend and fellow magician Billy McComb.
He invented many tricks, including a special deck of cards known as the Koran Deck, but his best known effect is "Ring Flight."
Some of his effects and presentations are described i three books " "Professional Presentations," and "Koran's Legacy," both by Hugh Miller, and "The Magic of Al Koran," edited by Martin Breese.
Information courtesy of The Encyclopedia of Magic and Magicians.
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