Gus Rich ( July 13, 1833 - July 8, 1917) was born William Augustus Reich in Salem North Carolina. A tinsmith by trade, he changed his name to Gus Rich when he entered upon his career as a magician, Civil War band member, ventriloquist, and traveling showman.
Mr. Reich gave his first public performance at the old Salem Concert Hall in 1860, the year before the the Civil War broke out. He billed himself as "The Wizard of the Blue Ridge" and continued to perform well into his 80s.
Max Howard created and starred in "The War Wizard" which celebrated the career and life Gus Rich.