Top 10 Magicians of the 20th Century

The Top Ten
1 Dynamo

I think he must be placed in the 1st rank among the top 10 greatest magicians of the world ever. He is marvelous, stunning, and may be superhuman.

He is never overconfident and never shows off. Before magic, he doesn't say to anyone, "Hey, I'm the cool Dynamo, look at me. I am gonna show you my trick." The only thing he does is reach a place and start his magic tricks. Surrounding him, people's eyes automatically get pointed at him. It starts from 5 people and ends with hundreds and thousands. At last, without showing off, he silently moves out of the place.

This attitude is classic and stunning, I must say. This behavior and all his impossible outstanding tricks will only help Dynamo to fetch the title, "Dynamo, the Magic God!"

2 Criss Angel

Criss Angel is truly the best magician I have ever seen. I first saw him on television back in 2005. He was hanging from four fish hooks that were embedded in his skin, and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.

I remember him saying, "If you have a dream and your actions speak louder than words, then you will eventually realize your dream. Don't give up. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something." Those words were so powerful for me, and they have stuck with me this entire time. I am an upcoming pop singer, and at one point, I hit rock bottom. Coming from a small town, I literally thought it was impossible to achieve my dream and was this close to giving up until I saw Criss on television.

Criss, his magic, and his whole outlook on life taught me that absolutely nothing is impossible and that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. He's truly my biggest inspiration.

I received the opportunity to see Criss perform live on July 30, 2009. He was absolutely astounding. Every trick was spot on and made me wonder over and over again, "How the heck did he do that?!"

I have seen a lot of magicians perform on the street, on television, and on the stage, but I must say that Criss is by far the best illusionist I have ever seen. Not only is he an incredible illusionist, but he is also an incredible person. I was given the opportunity to meet Criss after the show on July 30, 2009. I was 14 years old at the time, and I had made a DVD for Criss explaining how much he has inspired me. The DVD also reminded him of the journey he has been on.

I worked for days creating this DVD for him, and I brought my portable DVD player backstage, hoping he would watch it. I knew he was busy, so I wasn't getting my hopes up. But, to my surprise, Criss was the sweetest guy and did not even hesitate to watch it. We watched it together backstage, and the DVD brought tears to Criss' eyes. He ended up giving me his hat after our... more

3 David Copperfield David Seth Kotkin, known professionally as David Copperfield, is an American magician, described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history.

David Copperfield teleported a person to Hawaii in one of his tricks. That might be an illusion, but it is that sense of amazement and mystery that truly makes his tricks much more amazing. He doesn't go for small tricks. He goes for the large and seemingly impossible ones, such as making the Statue of Liberty vanish in front of hundreds of people.

David's illusions blow my mind every time! Not only that, he manages to make his illusions so much more special than, "Oh, look at me, I'm flying." He's one of the few magicians and performers who take you on a journey and entertain, rather than just leave you scratching your head.

4 Harry Houdini Harry Houdini was an American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts.

First of all, Criss Angel cannot do half the stuff you see him do on TV, as well as David Copperfield. David Copperfield steals tricks and has private assistants in the audience. Harry Houdini did everything without hiding anything. If it wasn't for him, magic would never have gotten this big.

Honestly, when I went to this list I thought Houdini would be #1. He should be. He pioneered magic tricks and is really the only magician everyone knows by name.

Pioneering magician. King of all magicians. Many other great performers on this list, but the great Houdini is unparalleled.

5 David Blaine David Blaine is an American magician, illusionist and endurance artist. He is best known for his high-profile feats of endurance, and has set and broken several world records. Blaine revolutionized the way magic is shown on television by focusing on spectator reactions.

He performs real street magic and does sleight of hand right along with the best of them. He takes his body to the limit. His tricks are more real than the masses getting continuously fooled by video editing and so-called magic.

He's right up there with David Copperfield, Houdini, Harry Blackstone, and Penn and Teller. He can manipulate cards as well as Daniel Madison, Juan Tamariz, and Richard Turner. He travels and searches for the secrets that make him even better and more respected. He walks straight ahead, fearless at every feat, and accomplishes whatever he sets out to accomplish. He's amazing, and more people need to realize it.

6 Herbert L. Becker

I remember years ago, Herbert (Kardeen) came to my classroom and did some magic for my students. I'm not sure why he was at the school (I think he had a sister who went there), but he was just going from class to class doing magic. The kids loved it. He was patient and kind, and he was simply wonderful. Even close up, I couldn't figure out how he did what he did. It was amazing. Good memories of a great guy.

I remember Herbert when he was the Great Kardeen. He was young and talented, and I loved his show. I wish he had a show near me, but I don't think he's performing much these days. It's sad because there's a whole new generation that would enjoy this wonderful magician. I know my kids and grandkids would love it.

7 Penn & Teller

Teller is the best sleight of hand and most ingenious magician in the world. Just watch the shadows trick. It is poetry in motion. Penn is also a genius when it comes to audience manipulation. Together, the two are the best, most creative magic act going right now. They were the first serious act in Vegas. Enough said.

They're not just magicians. They are geniuses. They can explain the trick word for word and still have you confused, possibly even more than before. A sleight of hand master and a misdirection king? What else is there to say? Peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, Wingrove and Lynch, Penn and Teller. Magic at its finest.

8 Lance Burton

If 20 top magicians were all given a ball, a cup, a book of matches, a deck, a spoon, and 5 other random objects and instructed to prepare an act and given 15 minutes to do so, Lance would win hands down.

Great show and great person as well as an astounding magician.

9 Iaron Korn

He does something with ducks too. But I know he doesn't kill them. He has very good scenic talent.

He does that thing where he moves that thing and then the thing changes into that other thing.

The one who levitates a table. Greatest magician of all time.

10 Dai Vernon

Greatest and most influential magician of all time! I can almost guarantee that every other magician on this list has at some point used a move or technique invented by Dai Vernon. This was a guy who dedicated his entire life to magic. Amazing man.

The greatest close-up magician of all time. You have to see his cups and balls routine. He is an absolute genius in magic. Best linking ring routine I've ever seen. Legend.

Most influential magician of the last century, bar none. He inspired all of the magicians above him on the list.

The Contenders
11 Shawn Farquhar

He lives and breathes magic. He is as good performing for 3 as for 3000. An incredible ambassador for the art with continuing appearances around the world. Not to mention multiple World Championships and fooling Penn & Teller twice.

Energy, humor, skill, passion for his craft - Shawn has it all. A first-class guy doing unbelievably amazing magic.

I met him. Absolutely amazing. Great person and magician. I actually added him to this list in the first place!

12 Doug Henning

Doug didn't use any camera tricks. He refused to do the Statue of Liberty vanish because once you use camera tricks, the TV magic would be over. David Copperfield did it, and soon TV magic was over. Now Criss Angel uses camera tricks all the time, and it sucks. The fact that he is #1 proves that there are no magicians voting, and the list is BS.

Pantages in LA, and we saw him make an elephant vanish. But the best illusion that evening was his card tricks at the edge of the stage, with a sleeveless shirt and no props. Amazing!

13 Shin Lim

He does his magic along with the music. It's actually really beautiful.

14 Howard Thurston
15 Harry August Jansen
16 Gopinath Muthukad
17 Ricky Jay
18 Jeff McBride

Jeff is the finest card manipulator that has ever lived. Pure skill. Unforgettable talent.

Been a staple magic man for 30 years.

19 Rune Klan

The best magician I've ever seen. Fantastic with coins and cards!

20 Graeme Shaw

Awesome magician. He impresses me every time.

21 Cyril Takayama

Cyril Takayama is a wonderful close-up artist. He does new things and has amazing skills.

22 Siegfried And Roy

I always thought they were amazing.

23 Cosentino

This guy should be known all over the globe. He's a mix between Criss Angel and Michael Jackson.

24 P. C. Sorcar, Jr.

Best magician in India of all time.

Sorcar's signature trick is the use of light refraction to convey the impression that large-scale objects have vanished. Past performances have included the "disappearance" of the Taj Mahal and the Indore-Amritsar Express.

On November 8, 2000, Sorcar "vanished" the Taj Mahal for two minutes in Kachhpura in Agra. He also made the Victoria Memorial disappear on the 300th anniversary of Calcutta and vanished a train full of passengers before a large crowd at Bardhaman Junction, West Bengal, India, in 1992.

25 Juan Tamariz

He should move up a few positions. He created the famous Mnemonic stack, used by a plethora of magicians, and can manipulate cards with the best of them. Very interesting and by far an underrated magician.

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