Walter B. Graham, a magician and magic historian, passed away last week. Graham performed for 81 years and built a reputation in the magic world as an experienced collector of props, tricks, and posters. Graham’s work as a performer, author, and historian helped attract attention from his contemporaries, such as the Teller half of the famed duo Penn & Teller and former Society of American Magicians president Jeff Quinn.
“I bought Graham’s book and started up a correspondence that ripened into one of my warmest magical friendships,” Teller wrote to The Omaha World-Herald. “Graham’s discoveries affected my thinking on magic profoundly and directly inspired Penn and me to create some of our best-known stage pieces.”
His personal projects included archiving the work of fellow Omaha magician David P. Abbott, who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and impressed such luminaries as Harry Houdini. Graham also led an active life in business. He founded printing company Modern Litho in 1948 and later started the Dot Graphic Arts Supply Company. He made significant contributions to the graphic arts field, teaching seminars on the paste-up technique for almost 20 years.
“Even in his 90s, he still had incredible skill, and his sense of timing was superb,” Quinn said to the World-Herald. “Walt was kind, charming, witty and gracious. He was always happy to help or give advice to any magician.”
We at GeniiOnline send our condolences to Graham’s friends, family, and loved ones.