Harry Houdini is the most recognized magician in world history. He took the mysterious world of magic to a new level. He performed unimaginable escapes that were seemingly impossible to the human eye. He was purely amazing and he brought huge attention to magic.
Houdini was born with the name Erich Weiss on March 24, 1874. As a child he lived in Appleton, Wisconsin after moving here from Budapest, Hungary when he was four. He moved here with his four brothers, and his parents, Samuel and Cecilia. His family was very poor and they were always changing homes to avoid bill collectors. All of the children began to work at very young ages. Houdini was selling newspapers and worked as a bootblack at the age of eight. When he was about eleven years old his father took him to see Dr. Lynn, a traveling magician, this is where it all started. When he was twelve years old he ran away from home to pursue his magic career. He called himself "Eric the Great" and made a little money performing at circuses and side shows. When Houdini was about thirteen he returned home to his parents to their new home in New York City. .
Harry Houdini's father died in October of 1892. To help the family out Houdini worked many jobs in the city. He worked as a cutter in a necktie factory called Richter and Sons; he was a messenger, an electrical driller, a photographer, and an apprentice to a locksmith. This is where he learned how to pick locks, something that would make him much money in the future.
When Houdini was about fifteen years old he read a biography on Jean Robert-Houdin, a French magician. This changed Houdini's life forever. He was so fascinated with Jean that he added an "I", which means like, to Houdin and he became Houdini. Houdini began performing magic on his own and began making about twelve dollars a week doing twenty shows a day. In 1892 he started doing acts with his brother Theo, who performed under the name Hardeen.