|Born||October 27, 1890|
|Died||July 3, 1974 (age 83) |
Charles Harrison (1890-1974) was a semi-professional magician that performed as "Rajah Khan" and himself as "The Mystifying Magician."
Harrison learned magic at the age 11 and had is paid magic debut at the age 16. He was a school headmaster and later director of a handicraft center.
During the war, when serving with forces, he gave many entertainments to troops.
Harrison contributed articles for the Linking Ring in addition to contributions to other magical literature. He Received Honorable Mention for his "Omega Deck" in a British Ring Parade.
Whilst considering turning professional he was persuaded to join the teaching profession in 1914. Because teachers' pay was very low he continued to perform magic as a sideline to supplement his income. He also did a fair share of shows for charity.
From 1907 till 1950 he continued in this manner except for a break to serve his country as a volunteer in World War I. During the War, he did shows for troops. Owing to war disability he was returned to the teaching profession as an incapacitated soldier in 1917. Disability pension was soon stopped, so it again became necessary to augment teacher's pay by even more semi-professional conjuring. He continued conjuring and teaching in various parts of England until 1950.
In 1938 he assumed the name of Rajah Khan and since then has played both in his own name as an English character and in this assumed name as an Indian. For nearly 20 years Rajah Khan, doing exactly the same program of effects was commanding a higher fee than Charles Harrison (because of the costume, make-up, and characterization.) The characterization was such that most audiences were convinced he was a genuine native of India and not a "made-up" Englishman.
At the age of 60 he resigned from the teaching profession, intending to retire to do gardening and physio-therapy as a hobby. But still needing an income from 1950 to 1956, Harrison become a full-time professional magician.
After many years of illness, most of them in isolation from friends and relatives, Harrison passed away in hospital in Derby. He never fully recovered from the shock of losing his only son in a motorcycle accident.
Honors and organizations
- Member of Inner Magic Circle, London, with Gold Star.
- Member of International IBM, USA, and British Ring 25, England.
- Interrogation Officer for British Ring, IBM.
- Past President and Hon. Life Vice-President, Nottingham Guild of Magicians, England.
- Hon. Vice-President, Staffordshire Magical Society, England.
- Hon. Life-Member and late Chairman of Benevolent Fund of the Leicester Magic Circle, England.
- Member of the Board of Examiners for Degrees and Promotions, The Magic Circle, London.
- Member of the Panel of Lecturers on Magic of the National Association of Magical Societies, England.
- Winner of the Hoffmann Memorial Lecture Competition 1954.
- Some Woes of a Semi-Pro Magician, : Magic Circular January 1958</ref>