|Born||Maxwell Phillip Frank Samuel Duke Sterns|
October 6, 1913
Trenton, New Jersey
|Died||July 29 1973 (age 59) |
Lakeside Cemetery, Colon, Michigan
Duke Stern (1913 - 1973) was a Vaudeville performer and magic store manager.
Stern was the son of magician Samuel Sterns who performed professionally under the name of Carl Mysto.
While Stern was still very young, the family returned to England. Then in 1918 they returned back to the United States, settling in Detroit where Stern grew up. He entered Vaudeville doing a two person magic-comedy act with Bernard Austin.
At the start of World War II, Stern tried to enlist but could not see the eye chart due to a scarlet fever in childhood which had damaged his eyes permanently. He did go to work in a defense plant, and invented a method whereby the company could increase its daily output from 3,000 to 10,000 grenades per day.
After the war, Duke worked for a large clothing firm and traveled throughout the country and also opened Abbott's first retail store in Indianapolis in 1945.
He returned to Abbott's in 1964 as sales manager and took displays to magic conventions. He then moved to Shreveport, Louisiana and opened "Duke and Eddie's" magic shop. While still in Indiana, he had developed a children's magic show for the early days of television and continued to do this show regularly in Louisiana.
In 1970 he moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to form an association with Paul Diamond at Paul's Magic and Fun Shop. A year later he joined the Harris Magic Company in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was employed until his death.
At the time of his death, Stern was attending the Midwest Jubilee of magic in St. Louis. He was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage on a Saturday morning and died in the hospital early the next Sunday. Stern was laid to rest in the Lakeside Cemetery in Colon on July 31, 1973. He was survived by his widow, three daughters and a brother.
He was known as master of thimble magic and authored a classic work on the subject.
Honors and awards
- IBM Ring 210, in Yipsilanti, Michigan, named their Ring the "Duke Stern Ring".
- Atlanta's "Magician of the Year" (1971)
- Latest Thimble Magic (1943)