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Fred Faltersack

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Fred Faltersack
BornFrederick Paul Faltersack
January 28, 1894
San Jose, California
DiedAugust 7, 1988 (age 94)
Santa Clara, California

Fred Faltersack (1894-1894) was a semi-professional club performer.


Faltersack became interested in magic after magic entertainer visited his Army camp in 1916. He was in the Army, at the age of 22, after signing up with the 5th California Infantry. He joined Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing in his quest for Mexican bandit Pancho Villa after Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico which 16 Americans were killed.

A teacher by profession, Faltersack taught shop at a Gilroy high school, industrial arts at California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo and mechanical engineering at Santa Clara University. A graduate of San Jose State Teachers College and the Oakland Polytechnic College of Engineering, he was a member of the SAM, IBM and IMC.[1]

He began professionally in 1920, specializing in comedy magic. In early 1932, Faltersack completed an extended trip through Europe that included summer study at the University of Munich.

He was a founding member and a president of Mystic 13. He became a friend of Harry Houdini and helped build some of his latter's illusions.[2]

During the late 1930's and early 1940's, he operated a machine shop and research laboratory, where he experimented with a number of ideas involving plastic and metal molds.

Early during World War II, he was a supervisor at the radiation lab at University of California. After the war, he was commended by the Army Corps of Engineers for his part in the development of the nation's first atomic bomb.[3]

Faltersack kept his passion for magic after his retirement and frequently worked as "Koo Koo, the Magic Clown".


  • A Riot of Laughs
  • Laugh Riot Finale (1974)
  • The Wonderful World of Laughter
  • Zilly Zany Zeudonyms (1980)


  1. The Sphinx, Vol. 31, No. 5, July 1932, Who's Who in Magic, page 205
  2. The Linking Ring, Vol. 68, No. 10, October 1988, Broken Wand, Fred Faltersack, page 120
  3. Genii Magazine, Vol. 51, No. 9, March 1988, Obituary, Fred Faltersack, page 643 (published in August)
  • M-U-M, Vol. 70, No. 6, November 1980, The Golden Age of Magic, Fred P. Faltersack, by Himself, page 23
  • M-U-M, Vol. 78, No. 5, October 1988, Obituary, Fred Faltersack, page 37