Anthony Abbot (1893-1952)


Real Name

Charles Fulton Oursler


Anthony Abbot, Samri Frikell, Sandalwood the Magician


Writer, Novelist

Place of Birth

Baltimore, MD, USA








A master writer, playwright, novelist, amateur magician, and some regard him as a great ventriloquist.

Anthony Abbot pic courtesy of Find A


American magician, journalist, editor, and writer. Born Charles Fulton Oursler on January 22, 1893, in Baltimore, MD. He studied law but turned to journalism working as a reporter.

He was a master at writing copy and short "teaser" captions which appeared on the covers of magazines.

He was the chief editor of the highly respected Liberty magazine (from 1931 to 1942), and former senior editor of Reader's Digest (1944) 

He wrote many novels under the pseudonym Anthony Abbot in the 30's and 40's. Many of them were Christian themed, such as The Greatest Story Ever Told (1949), a fictional account of the life of Jesus, for which was a bestseller.

Another one of his popular novels was Father Flanagan of boy's Town, which later became a successful movie adaptation starring Spencer Tracy. He also wrote detective mysteries and a number of plays.

Oursler dabbled in the art of magic. As an amateur conjuror, he went under the name of "Sandalwood the Magician". He befriended a number of famous magicians including Harry Houdini and wrote literature on the art under the name "Samri Frikell".

He co-translated and edited Illustrated Magic by Ottokar Fischer. Fascinated with the paranormal, he penned a book entitled Spirit Mediums Exposed. Magician John Mulholland authored the book Beware Familiar Spirits. 

Mulholland was generally skeptical, but at the end of the book he included a chapter with accounts of paranormal occurrences from others. 

Among those was one by Fulton Oursler describing a premonition involving himself and magician Howard Thurston.  In a biography by Oursler’s son, it was noted that “Fulton did have prophetic dreams all his life.” 

Fulton Oursler suffered a heart attack and died in New York City on May 24, 1952. He was 59 years old.

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