Martin Gardner’s100th Year

On October 21, it will be one hundred years since the birth of the mastermind, Martin Gardner, a man so well known for his original thoughts, creations, and writings, that he hardly needs introduction. He was interested in many areas – mathemat- ics, puzzles, philosophy, physics, logic, skeptical inquiry, and pseudoscience. But throughout his very productive life magic remained his constant star. He once told an interviewer, “My main interest in magic is because it arouses a sense of wonder about the universe. It’s like life is a big magic trick and scientists are trying to figure out how it does what it does.” He certainly tried to figure it out himself, taking generations of admirers along with him on the fascinating journey.Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1914, his lifelong interest in magic as his primary hobby continued unabated until his death on May 22, 2010. Awards, accolades, and accomplishments aside, the best way to define the impact Gardner had during his lifetime is through the eyes of those who admired him most. You will hear from a number of these and learn how many of them keep his memory and love of curiosity alive. But first, here’s a peek at his past, drawn from an article written by Richard Hatch, then associate editor of M-U-M, in January 2006.Martin Gardner’s father showed him his first trick, in which three small pieces of paper stuck to both sides of a butter knife were openly removed, but which appeared magically back on the knife. Gardner’s name first appeared in The Sphinx in the February 1930 issue, where the fifteen-year-old was listed as second prize winner in a contest sponsored by magic dealer Blair Gilbert. The May 1930 issue contained his first published trick, New Color Divination, a variation on the crayon color divination trick, sub- stituting colored gumballs for crayons and a moistened fingertip for the fingernail. Regular contributions followed in that and other magical publications.


Read the whole article on Martin Gardner in the October 2014 issue of M-U-M by Clicking HERE



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