Harry Houdini Google Doodle: Escape Artist's Birthday
Harry Houdini: Legendary Escape Artist Would Have Turned 137
Harry Houdini, the legendary escape artist, was born on March 24, 1874. He would have been 137 today. Houdini pushed the boundaries of stage magic with daring escapes; his tricks involved straitjackets, being submerged, and being buried alive. If you've ever watched Criss Angel: Mindfreak, you will have seen modern-day variations of several Houdini escapes.
Harry Houdini: Only Human
Harry Houdini was also a renowned skeptic, who debunked the claims of self-appointed psychics and mediums. His lifetime in the magic business gave him insight into how a performer cons audiences. In fact, Harry Houdini had been friends with Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed that Houdini had supernatural powers. Harry Houdini's insistence that he was a normal man ruined their friendship. The Houdini-Doyle relationship is explored in the film FairyTale: A True Story.
Harry Houdini died at age 52 following complications from a burst appendix (peritonitis). Houdini was already suffering from the condition when he was punched several times by Canadian student J. Gordon Whitehead after claiming that he could take any man's punch.
While Houdini would have died anyway from peritonitis, as he sought no medical treatment, the trauma sped up his demise, and Houdini died on October 31, 1926.
Harry Houdini's Last Assistant Dies
Dorothy Young, Harry Houdini's last living assistant, died on March 20, 2011 at the age of 103.