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Ben Badley

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Ben Badley
BornBenjamin R. Badley
December of 1898
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
DiedSeptember 29, 1950 (age 51)
Resting placeCalvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, Saint Louis

Ben Badley (1898-1950), a Charter Member of S.A.M. Assembly No. 8 in St. Louis, did a mentalism act as well as hypnotic work. He had a lot of collectors' items. [1]


He was an honorary member of the Peoria Magic Society and the Inner Circle, as well as a charter member of Ring One of the International Brotherhood of Magicians with card number 223 and a Missouri Regional Vice President of the I.B.M.

Badley became interested in magic at the age of six when his aunt took him to see Leon Herrmann (1867 - 1909). He then was influenced by Karl Germain, Eugene Laurant and, local magician in Baton Rouge, Felix Guidry, who became his mentor.

He would travel and study for a year with the hypnotist William Fayssoux of Gastonia, North Carolina before going out on his own, playing throughout the South under the name Devo, the Magician from Dixieland.

When World War I broke out, he joined the Army, serving in England and France in the 38th Division. Initially working as a magician doing camp shows, he switched to hypnotism when his magical apparatus was destroyed. At the end of the war, he returned to show business.

In 1927, Badely performed his hypnotic act on a national radio broadcast.

He was active in magic performances in the St. Louis area for many years until a heart attack slowed him down in 1948.

He wrote for most of the magic periodicals, including the Sphinx, M-U-M, Linking Ring and Tops.

When not doing magic, Badely worked as engraver at St. Louis Engraving.[2][3]

See also entry under Devo.


In 1995, Badley was awarded the St. Louis Magical Heritage Award posthumously.


  1. Tops, NOVEMBER 1950
  3. The History of S.A.M. Assembly No. 8 1921-1996 by Monti, Trudy; Monti, Harry, eds. (1996)
  • Broken Wand, Linking Ring, Nov 1950