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George Sands

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George Sands

Cover of Genii (1992)
BornFebruary 27, 1920
New London, Connecticut
DiedMay 16, 2006 (age 86)
Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin

George Sands (February 27th, 1920 - May 16, 2006) began practicing magic at the age of 17 and was an active member of New York City magic scene with the guidance of Dr. Abe Hurwitz, the father of Shari Lewis (and Lamb Chop).


Sands joined the Legerdemainiacs, with notable peers such as George Schindler, Frank Garcia, Howard Schwarzman, and Ken Krenzel.[1]

He worked for Tannen's Magic with Lou and Mike Tannen and at Royal Magic for Morris Fox.

Just before War World II, George developed his highly successful "Sandsational Rope" routine, then during WW2 he developed Sands' Ropsational, a variation that used no scissors and didn't cut up the rope; among other great magical mysteries, all to entertain his buddies in the trenches.

Sands' publication of his routine Super Optical Illusion in Hugard's Magic Monthly in June, 1946, was an inspiration for many packet trick that followed where faces and backs change numerous times.

Jean Hugard published his card masterpiece "A Poker Nightmare" in 1949, and George first published his now classic rope routines SandSational Rope (first published in 1949) and RopeSational (published 1961) have been performed by thousands of magicians including Jeff McBride, Mac King, David Copperfield and Dick Cavett, who performed it on the Johnny Carson Show. Daryl & Michael Finney used it as the base of his rope routine, as did may others.

Republished in 2009 by his son, Alan Sands, under the title "George Sands Ropes" as a book and accompanying DVD.

Sands, with over 800 pages of original magic routines, moves and tricks in a total of 17 booklets and was the first person to publish a substantial book on balloon sculpture "The Encyclopedic Balloon Modeling Courses, Volumes 1 and 2" (in 1972 and 1973). His culmination of material can found in his 50 Years Of Magic Series.

Sands also created the Pot Belly Decks of cards, which work like stripper decks, but are set for one specific trick only.[2][3]


Sands' oldest daughter, Robin Sands Fife runs a talent agency (All Star Showgrams) and is an actress in the San Francisco Bay Area. Robin has four children who are involved in the performing arts; Ashlee Fife has performed on Broadway, Cameron Fife is cutting his teeth writing screenplays in Hollywood, Malcolm Fife does post production sound for major motion pictures, Bernadette Fife manages a theater in San Jose.

George's son, Alan Sands, is a comedy magician and comedy hypnotist.

George's widow, Arlene Sands, passed away in 2011.


Alan Sands is currently selling George Sands' personal collection of magic books in order to raise money to publish all of the creations of Sands into hardcover collector's volumes at


  2. Cover Genii Magazine, Vol. 55, No. 5. March 1992, George Sands “Mr. Sandsational”, by Arlene Sands, page 309
  • M-U-M, Vol 81, No. 8, January 1992, Thoughts from our Presidents, George Sands, page 26
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 86, No. 7, July 2006, Broken Wand, George Sands, page 127
  • M-U-M, Vol. 96, No. 2, July 2006, Broken Wands, George “Sandsational” Sands, by Alan Sands with Jay Alexander, page 33
  • M-U-M, Vol. 97, No. 6, Nov 2007, I’ve Said it Before, by Howard Schwarzman, George Sands, page 88