62 Facts About James Randi


James Randi was the co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation.


James Randi retired from practicing magic at age 60, and from his foundation at 87.


James Randi wrote about paranormal phenomena, skepticism, and the history of magic.


James Randi was born on August 7,1928, in Toronto, Canada.


James Randi was the son of Marie Alice and George Randall Zwinge, an executive at Bell Telephone Company.


James Randi took up magic after seeing Harry Blackstone Sr.


James Randi confounded doctors, who expected he would never walk again.


James Randi often skipped classes, and at 17, dropped out of high school to perform as a conjurer in a carnival roadshow.


James Randi practiced as a mentalist in local nightclubs and at Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition and wrote for Montreal's tabloid press.


James Randi witnessed many tricks that were presented as being supernatural.


James Randi initially presented himself under his real name, Randall Zwinge, which he later dropped in favor of "The Amazing Randi".


On February 7,1956, he appeared live on NBC's Today show, where he remained for 104 minutes in a sealed metal coffin that had been submerged in a hotel swimming pool, breaking what was said to be Harry Houdini's record of 93 minutes, though James Randi called attention to the fact that he was much younger than Houdini had been when he established the original record in 1926.


James Randi was a frequent guest on the Long John Nebel program on New York City radio station WOR, and did character voices for commercials.


James Randi hosted numerous television specials and went on several world tours.


James Randi built several of the stage props, including the guillotine.


James Randi has been accused of actually using "psychic powers" to perform acts such as spoon bending.


James Randi wrote ten books, among them Conjuring, a biographical history of prominent magicians.


James Randi was a member of the all-male literary banqueting club the Trap Door Spiders, which served as the basis of his friend Isaac Asimov's fictional group of mystery solvers, the Black Widowers.


James Randi was a frequent contributor to Skeptical Inquirer magazine, published by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, of which he was a fellow.


James Randi gained the international spotlight in 1972 when he publicly challenged the claims of Uri Geller.


James Randi accused Geller of being nothing more than a charlatan and a fraud who used standard magic tricks to accomplish his allegedly paranormal feats, and he presented his claims in the book The Truth About Uri Geller.


However, this appearance on The Tonight Show, which Carson and James Randi had orchestrated to debunk Geller's claimed abilities, backfired.


James Randi was on his way to becoming a paranormal superstar.


James Randi travelled the world on behalf of CSICOP, becoming its public face, and according to Hyman, the face of the skeptical movement.


The legal costs James Randi incurred used almost all of a $272,000 MacArthur Foundation grant awarded to James Randi in 1986 for his work.


James Randi dismissed Geller's claims that he was capable of the kind of psychic photography associated with the case of Ted Serios.


James Randi refused and resigned, though he maintained a respectful relationship with the group, which in 2006 changed its name to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.


In 2010, James Randi was one of 16 new CSI fellows elected by its board.


James Randi went on to write many articles criticizing beliefs and claims regarding the paranormal.


James Randi demonstrated flaws in studies suggesting the existence of paranormal phenomena; in his Project Alpha hoax, Randi successfully planted two fake psychics in a privately funded psychic research experiment.


James Randi appeared on numerous TV shows, sometimes to directly debunk the claimed abilities of fellow guests.


James Randi, having determined that Hydrick was surreptitiously blowing on the book, arranged foam packaging peanuts on the table in front of the telephone book for the demonstration.


The fellowship's five-year $272,000 grant helped support Randi's investigations of faith healers, including W V Grant, Ernest Angley, and Peter Popoff, whom Randi first exposed on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in February 1986.


Carson appeared stunned after James Randi showed a brief video segment from one of Popoff's broadcasts showing him calling out a woman in the audience, revealed personal information about her that he claimed came from God, and then performed a laying-on-of-hands healing to drive the devil from her body.


James Randi then replayed the video, but with some of the sound dubbed in that he and his investigating team captured during the event using a radio scanner and recorder.


The news coverage generated by James Randi's expose on The Tonight Show led to many TV stations dropping Popoff's show, eventually forcing him into bankruptcy in September 1987.


In February 1988, James Randi tested the gullibility of the media by perpetrating a hoax of his own.


The hoax was exposed on 60 Minutes Australia; "Carlos" and James Randi explained how they had pulled it off.


In 1982, James Randi verified the abilities of Arthur Lintgen, a Philadelphia doctor, who was able to identify the classical music recorded on a vinyl LP solely by examining the grooves on the record.


In 1988, John Maddox, editor of the prominent science journal Nature, asked James Randi to join the supervision and observation of the homeopathy experiments conducted by Jacques Benveniste's team.


James Randi stated that Daniel Dunglas Home, who could allegedly play an accordion that was locked in a cage without touching it, was caught cheating on a few occasions, but the incidents were never made public.


James Randi stated that the actual instrument in use was a one-octave mouth organ concealed under Home's large mustache and that other one-octave mouth organs were found in Home's belongings after his death.


James Randi regarded crackpot science as "equally wrong" as pseudoscience, but with no scientific pretensions.


At the NECSS skeptic conference in 2017, James Randi was asked by George Hrab what a "'skeptic coming of age ceremony' would look like" and James Randi talked about what it was like as a child to learn about the speed of light and how that felt like he was looking into the past.


Live was a two-hour television special aired live on June 7,1989, wherein James Randi examined several people claiming psychic powers.


James Randi began a series of conferences known as "The Amazing Meeting" which quickly became the largest gathering of skeptics in the world, drawing audiences from Asia, Europe, South America, and the UK.


James Randi was regularly featured on many podcasts, including The Skeptics Society's official podcast Skepticality and the Center for Inquiry's official podcast Point of Inquiry.


James Randi appeared with Browne on Larry King Live six months later, and she again appeared to accept his challenge.


James Randi asked British businessman Jim McCormick, the inventor of the bogus ADE 651 bomb detector, to take the challenge in October 2008.


Geller never won, save for a ruling in a Japanese court that ordered James Randi to pay Geller one-third of one per cent of what Geller had requested.


The court dismissed the case and Geller had to settle at a cost to him of $120,000, after James Randi produced a cereal box which bore instructions on how to do the spoon-bending trick.


Late in 1996, James Randi launched a libel suit against a Toronto-area psychic named Earl Gordon Curley.


James Randi removed the photo and subsequently used a caricature of DuBois when mentioning her on his site, beginning with his December 23,2005, commentary.


James Randi had been reported as a believer in Social Darwinist theories, although he would denounce the ideologies and movements that formed around the theories in 2013.


James Randi's parents were members of the Anglican Church but rarely attended services.


James Randi attended Sunday school at St Cuthbert's Church in Toronto a few times as a child, but he independently decided to stop going after receiving no answer to his request for proof of the teachings of the Church.


James Randi refers to the Virgin Mary as being "impregnated by a ghost of some sort, and as a result produced a son who could walk on water, raise the dead, turn water into wine, and multiply loaves of bread and fishes" and questions how Adam and Eve's family "managed to populate the Earth without committing incest".


In 1987, James Randi became a naturalized citizen of the United States.


James Randi said that one reason he became an American citizen was an incident while he was on tour with Alice Cooper, during which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police searched the band's lockers during a performance, completely ransacking the room, but finding nothing illegal.


James Randi had a series of small tumors removed from his intestines during laparoscopic surgery.


James Randi underwent his final chemotherapy session in December 2009, later saying that his chemotherapy experience was not so unpleasant as he had imagined it might be.


James Randi died at his home on October 20,2020, at the age of 92.