DAVID COPPERFIELD NAMED 'KING OF MAGIC' AND 'MAGICIAN OF THE CENTURY'
Posted September 14, 2011
New York, NY - The Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.) will award illusionist David Copperfield their highest honor today, "Magician of the Century", and name him the ‘King of Magic,’ an award which has never before been given by the association. S.A.M., the oldest and most prestigious magic organization in the world founded in 1902 and led by past president Harry Houdini himself, is recognizing Copperfield for his efforts to preserve, promote and enhance the art of magic throughout his legendary career. Its esteemed national president, Vinny Grosso, says that Copperfield has, "accomplished more than anyone else in the field of magic today." Copperfield was named Magician of the Century for the last century, and Magician of the Millennium from other organizations.
Among his many achievements, S.A.M. highlighted Copperfield’s dedication to excellence which has earned him the Living Legend Award from The Library of Congress, the first Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame awarded to a living magician, a knighthood by the French government, 11 Guinness World Records and 21 Emmy awards. He has sold more tickets than any other solo artist in history and recently crossed $3 billion in ticket sales worldwide. In 1982, Copperfield created Project Magic, which teaches sleight-of-hand magic to those with disabilities as a method of physical and occupational therapy.
In addition, Copperfield is the creator and curator of the International Museum and Library of Conjuring Arts, which holds the world’s largest collection of historical magical artifacts, including Houdini's Water Torture Cell and Orson Welles' Buzz Saw Illusion.
The Society of American Magicians was founded on May 10, 1902 in Martinka's famous magic shop in New York City, New York. For over a century it has promoted the ideals shared by Kellar, Houdini, Thurston and over 45,000 others world-wide who have held membership in the society.
Copperfield said, "I’m humbled by the honor and grateful to be recognized by this great organization."
Born in Metuchen, New Jersey as David Seth Kotkin to Israeli parents, Hyman and Rivka, Copperfield began practicing magic at the age of 12, and became the youngest person ever admitted to the Society of American Magicians. By age 16, he was teaching a course in magic at New York University. At age 18, he enrolled at Fordham University, and was cast in the lead role of the Chicago-based musical The Magic Man (directed by Holland, MI's John Tammi) three weeks into his freshman year, adopting his new stage name "David Copperfield" from the Charles Dickens book of the same name. At age 19, he was headlining at the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.
David Copperfield played the character of Ken the magician in the 1980 horror film Terror Train. He also made an uncredited appearance in the 1994 film Prêt-à-Porter. Most of his media appearances have been through television specials and guest spots on television programs. His illusions have included making the Statue of Liberty disappear, flying, levitating over the Grand Canyon, and walking through the Great Wall of China.
In 1982, Copperfield founded Project Magic, a rehabilitation program to help disabled patients regain lost or damaged dexterity skills by using sleight-of-hand magic as a method of physical therapy. The program has been accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, and is in use in over 1100 hospitals throughout 30 countries worldwide.
Copperfield met supermodel, Claudia Schiffer in 1993 at a Berlin celebrity gala when he brought her on stage to participate in a mind reading act. They were engaged three months later, but the couple parted ways in the fall of 1999 never having set a wedding date. Copperfield has also been romantically linked to models, Ambre Frisque and Terry Holladay.
David Copperfield at one time was ready to open a theme restaurant called "Magic Underground." There were to be two locations, one in New York City and one in Walt Disney World (built in the shape of a Hidden Mickey). These locations would allow "D.A.V.I.D" (Digital Audio-Video Interface Device) to remotely interact with the guests in the restaurant. It was basically a high tech videophone system. Other things such as the very table you were sitting at might "Float" around the room and even the waiters were to be involved performing magic as they brought your order to you. Eventually the New York project ran into trouble and the Walt Disney World location was aborted.
In 1996, Copperfield joined forces with Dean Koontz, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury and others for “David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible,” an anthology of original fiction set in the world of magic and illusion. A second volume was later published in 1997, called “David Copperfield's Beyond Imagination.”
Copperfield has a collection of magic and conjuring memorabilia and historical artefacts that he stores in a warehouse in Las Vegas. He calls the collection the International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts. It is not open to the public.
Every year David gives a message via telephone, in Hebrew, to the Israeli Society of Magicians. Reminding the Israeli magic fraternity that his folks come from the city of Natanya, in Israel
Forbes Magazine reported that Copperfield earned $57 million in 2003, making him the tenth highest paid celebrity in the world. It also estimated that he made $57 million in 2004 (35th) and $57 million in 2005 (41st) in merchandise and tour revenue.Copperfield performs over 500 shows per year throughout the world.