Born in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Stage and pen name of John Gerard Rodney Boyce, originally aka 'Kellmann' and 'Jean Hugarde', later aka 'Ching Ling Foo'. Inspired in 1880 seeing Haselmayer show. Learned a week later reading Robert-Houdin's Secrets of Magic, then Hoffmann's Modern Magic. He began his professional career in 1896. He moved to USA in 1916, working vaudeville from 1916-18 and in his own magic theater in Luna Park (at Coney Island) 1919-29. When he retired, he went to Brooklyn to write and edit magic. Named 4th SAM Dean of Magicians in 1951. SAM Hall of Fame.
Wrote (with Frederick Braue): The Stripper Deck - Miracle Methods No. 1, Miracle Shuffles and Tricks - Miracle Methods No. 2 (1942),Prepared Cards and Accessories - Miracle Methods No. 3 (1942), Tricks and Sleights - Miracle Methods No. 4 (1942),Show Stoppers with Cards, The Invisible Pass (1946), The Royal Road to Card Magic (1951), Expert Card Technique (1940).
Wrote on his own: Card Manipulations (1934),Close-up Magic (1938), Coin Magic (1935), Encyclopedia of Card Tricks (1937), Houdini's Unmasking (1957), Mental Magic with Cards (1935), Money Magic (1937), More Card Manipulations (1938), Sealed Mysteries of Pocket Magic (c 1930), Silken Sorcery (1937), Thimble Magic (1936)
Edited and produced: "Hugards Magic Monthly" 22 volumes. It chronicles the American magic scene of the '40s, '50s and '60s, with emphasis on New York's 'Inner Circle'.