One of the most famous mentalists of all time was a New Yorker Joseph Dunninger born in New York City in 1892.
He beame a debunker of psychic phenomenon after he had mastered most of the techniques used by so called mediums and spiritualists. See the video for a clear demonstration of how he conducted his investigation of so called psychic happenings.
He freely admitted that he had great magical ability and manual dexterity acquired after extensive practice and that he was a very acute observer. All of these skills allowed him to replicate the phenomena the mediums conjured during their sessions.
He began performing at an early age and at only 17 he performed at Theodore Roosevelt’s home in Oyster Bay and also at the home of Thomas Edison.
<iframe width=”620″ height=”420″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/gBX7xxQ5sjg?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Through the Universal Council of Psychic Research and the Scientific American magazine he offered $10,000 to any psychic medium who could produce the affects he did by virtue of his skill, by psychic or spiritualistic means.
He was good friends with Harry Houdini and Francis Martinka and was the inspiration for the character ‘The Shadow’ in the book of the same name by Walter B Gibson.
He was frequently on TV in the 50′s and 60′s not only performing himself but inspiring many characters with thinly disguised names showing they were meant to be him.
He died in 1975, a greatly admired magician and mentalist and he continues to inspire TV shows that draw on his heritage of mentalism..