International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.)
Is the world's largest organization for professional and amateur magicians, with approximately 15,000 members worldwide. The headquarters is in St. Charles, Missouri, and there are over 300 local groups, called Rings (local I.B.M. clubs), in more than 30 countries, largely concentrated in cities of the United States and Canada, though members of the international organization represent at least 80 different countries. The organization also publishes a monthly periodical entitled The Linking Ring.
Each international territory has a Territorial Vice President, who coordinates with the various Rings in that country, and the Territorial Vice Presidents in other countries.
The IBM publishes a monthly magazine called The Linking Ring. The magazine features several tricks, and stories covering shows and events in the magic community and an interview with a magician who is either independently famous, or otherwise being awarded or recognized by the organization.
The IBM also holds an annual convention, traditionally held in June or July.
Past International Presidents of the I.B.M.
1.1922-1926 Len Vintus *
2.1926-1937 W.W. Durbin *
3.1937-1938 John H. Davison *
4.1938-1939 T. J. Crawford *
5.1939-1941 John Snyder, Jr. *
6.1941-1942 Robert C. Anderson *
7.1942-1946 Eugene Bernstein *
8.1946-1947 John Braun *
9.1947-1948 A. Renerick Clark *
10.1948-1949 H. Adrian Smith *
11.1949-1950 William R. Walsh *
12.1950-1951 Walter Coleman *
13.1951-1952 James B. Lake *
14.1952-1953 Arthur D. Reichenbach *
15.1953-1954 Forrest P. Hendricks *
16.1954-1955 C. James McLemore *
17.1955-1956 Charles A. RossKam *
18.1956-1957 Chauncey Sheridan *
19.1957-1958 L.A. Waterman *
20.1958-1959 Verne W. Uker *
21.1959-1960 Reeder C. Hutchinson *
22.1960-1961 Harris Solomon *
23.1961-1962 C.L. Schmitt *
24.1962-1963 Irving M. Lewis *
25.1963-1964 Arnold Drennen
26.1964-1965 Thorton Poole *
27.1965-1966 Dr. Richard O. Mossey
28.1966-1967 Howard P. Bamman *
29.1967-1968 Sydney S. Bergson *
30.1968-1969 J. Ronald Haines *
31.1969-1970 Royal Brin, Jr.
32.1970-1971 William G. Stickland *
33.1971-1972 Austin C. Gorham *
34.1972-1973 Robert B. Hurt *
35.1973-1974 Earle J. Christenberry, Jr.
36.1974-1975 Charles Lantz *
37.1975-1976 William Preston *
38.1976-1977 Walter F. Williams, Jr.
39.1977-1978 Jeffery Atkins *
40.1978-1979 Bill Pitts
41.1979-1980 Ray Mangel *
42.1980-1981 Bruce Posgate *
43.1981-1982 Roger Crabtree *
44.1982-1983 John Makar *
45.1983-1984 William A. Wells
46.1984-1985 Donald E. Wiberg
47.1985-1986 William E. Spooner
48.1986-1987 Karrell Fox *
49.1987-1988 June Horowitz
50.1988-1989 Edward A. Morris
51.1989-1990 Anthony Shelley *
52.1990-1991 Michael Ellis *
53.1991-1992 Michael J. Gorman
54.1992-1993 James L. Nagel
55.1993-1994 R. J. “Obie” O’Brien
56.1994-1995 Jep Hostetler
57.1995-1996 Kenneth Klosterman
58.1996-1997 Bev Bergeron
59.1997-1998 Abb Dickson
60.1998-1999 John R. Browne III
61.1999-2000 Jerry C. Schnepp
62.2000-2001 Jack K. Greenberg
63.2001-2002 Robert A. Escher
64.2002-2003 Michael Stratman
65.2003-2004 David Sandy
66.2004-2005 Tony Wilson
67.2005-2006 Roger Miller
68.2006-2007 Fred Casto
69.2007-2008 Phil Willmarth
70.2008-2009 Joan Caesar
71.2009-2010 Jack White
* = Deceased
Both amateur and professional magicians are eligible to join the I.B.M. The group also includes those who collect magic apparatus and effects.
Active members must be at least 18 years old. Youth members must be 10-18 years of age. Members must have had an interest in magic--for at least two years for active members, or one year for youth members. Membership requires the endorsement of two active members, and a pledge to uphold the code of ethics.
The organization was founded February 10, 1922 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by Len Vintus (stage name of Melvin Justus Given McMullen) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Gene Gordon (true name Gordon Avery) of Buffalo, New York, and--somewhat later--Don Rogers (true name Ernest Schieldge) after the three men exchanged letters about magic. Unlike earlier magic clubs--the Society of American Magicians (SAM) in the USA and The Magic Circle in England--the I.B.M. was begun by magicians living outside the major cities, who were unable to attend magic club meetings, and who kept in contact by post.
Gene Gordon established the first local group organized under the I.B.M.'s auspices: Ring 1 in Rochester, New York. This ring did not last. Although Rochester currently has a ring (Ring 4), St. Louis, Missouri is now the location of Ring 1.
Although the SAM and the Magic Circle had held banquets as early as 1905, the I.B.M. was the first to hold a magic convention--in Kenton, Ohio on June 9-10, 1926.
¦The 66th annual convention was held in Orlando, Florida.
The International Brotherhood of Magicians has a number of local clubs, located throughout the world, known as Rings. Each Ring is (was) numbered in sequence, based on when that respective Ring received its charter from the I.B.M.