Help us get to over 4,000 biographies in 2018.

If you know of a past magician not listed in MagicPedia, start a New Biography for them or Email us your suggestion.

George Devol

From Magicpedia, the free online encyclopedia for magicians by magicians.
Jump to: navigation, search
George Devol
BornGeorge Hildreth Devol
August 1, 1829
Marietta, Ohio
DiedJuly 4, 1903 (age 73)
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Resting placeGreenwood Cemetery, Hot Springs
CategoriesBooks by George Devol

George H. Devol (1829 - 1903), born in Marietta, Ohio was a riverboat gambler, con artist and fighter. He worked on the riverboats on the Mississippi and later on the railroads between Kansas City and Cheyenne.


Devol published his autobiography, "Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi" in 1887, telling his amazing (and perhaps very embellished) life story. Shortly after he published his book, the heyday of railroad and riverboat gambling were over. He retired from gambling for good in 1896 and spent the last years of his life selling his book.

At the age of ten, Devol ran away, serving as a cabin boy on a river boat steamer. He quickly learned to play cards and was soon dealing seconds, palming cards and recovering the cut. He later teamed up with other card sharps such as Canada Bill Jones, Bill Rollins and Big Alexander.

It is estimated that Devol won over two million dollars over his forty years of gambling. However, when he died in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1903, he was nearly penniless.