The Great Raymond led a colorful and fascinating life. For many more details about the life of Maurice Raymond, please see the book The Great Raymond: King of Entertainers, Entertainer of Kings.
When he was a boy, Raymond literally ran away with the circus. His father had to track him down and retrieve him in time for school in the fall. Raymond was extremely proud of his fine physique. Anticipating today's health trends by more than eighty years, he exercised rigorously and kept to a strict diet. He closely followed the philosophies of health gurus Elbert Hubbard and Bernarr MacFadden.
Though later famous for stage illusions, Raymond began his career as a hypnotist, spiritist and escapeologist. Raymond's "Cigar" poster was inspired by his mindreading act with his first wife, who he billed as "The Girl With the ZaZa Hair", referring to her fiery red locks. The hair was so red he lit his cigar from her head!
Raymond was one of a number of celebrity magicians who had a feud with Harry Houdini. Houdini criticized Raymond for featuring escapes in his show, and Raymond was convinced that Houdini had hired someone to sabotage his act. The two actually came to blows in 1921, and never spoke to each other again.
Raymond was a great believer in palmistry, and felt it was the best way to judge character. He persuaded Litzka to study the subject, even introducing her to Cheiro, the famous palmist.
Raymond was an enthusiastic and devoted member of the Brotherhood of Freemasons. Other magicians who were member Masons included Harry Houdini, Harry Kellar, Alexander Herrmann, John Henry Anderson, Frederick Eugene Powell, Dante, Chung Ling Soo, Okito, Harry Blackstone Sr. and Howard Thurston.
After his retirement from show business, Raymond toured America, giving lectures on his life and adventures at Masonic temples. His most popular topic was his trip to Ecuador, becuase he used two very unusual visual aids-a pair of authentic shrunken heads.