What is Houdini’s real name?

What is Houdini’s real name?
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

You know you’ve done something right when you become the de facto example for something. In the case of Harry Houdini, even though no one alive today probably ever saw him, or if they did, they were itty bitty babies, we still use his name as the bar for every magician that has come since. We also use it as a way to describe pets that escape the backyard.

Houdini was born in Hungary in 1874, but his family moved to the United States when he was still very young. He was a showman from the beginning, premiering as a trapeze artist at the age of nine.

He was skilled in sleight-of-hand, but it was his daring escapes that turned him into the most famous magician in the world. He challenged police to keep him cuffed, and once even staged an escape from the belly of a “sea beast” which had washed ashore — we still don’t know what the animal actually was.

But like many things when it comes to Houdini, it was all a trick — he made the damn name up! What name was Houdini born with?