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Irving Desfor

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Irving Desfor
BornIsidor Desfor
April 13, 1907
New York City
DiedNovember 27, 1993 (age 86)
San Francisco

Irving "Doc" Desfor (1907-1993) was a photo-retoucher, art director, photo-writer and amateur magician.


He was 15 years old when his first photograph was published. Desfor was a photographer with AP from 1929 until he retired in 1972. He continued as a freelance columnist for AP until 1979 when he moved to Florida. His wrote the nationally syndicated photo-columnist "Camera Angles" for 31 years.

Desfor was taught magic by Dr. Joseph Fries in 1931. He did his "Photo-Magic" act starting in 1948 in USA, Europe, and Singapore.

During World War II, Desfor performed with his son Donald as The Desfor Brothers [1]

He was famous for his photographs of magicians in action, beginning with Blackstone. His photos appeared in major magic journals for over fifty years.

He was President of SAM Parent Assembly #1 in 1964.

In 1978, he donated thousands of his photos to the American Museum of Magic. [2]

The December issue of Magic, carried a six-page feature story chronicling his life and times.


  • Academy of Magical Arts Special Fellowship (1983)
  • Magic Collectors' Weekend honoree (1983)
  • Milbourne Christopher award at the 1993 SAM convention in New Orleans


  • Great Magicians in Great Moments: A Photo Album (1983)


  1. Genii Magazine, Vol. 57, No. 3, January 1994, Obituaries, Irving “Doc” Desfor 1907-1993, page 189
  2. Obit, Magic Magazine, January 1994
  • Cover, M-U-M, Vol. 56, No. 1, June 1966, IRVING DESFOR, magician-of the-month, by Leslie P. Guest, page 4
  • Cover, The New Tops, Vol. 13, No. 5, May 1973, Cover Portrait… IRVING DESFOR …by Neil Foster, page 8
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 74, No. 1, January 1994, Broken Wand, Irving “Doc” Desfor, by Robert Lund, page 118
  • M-U-M, Vol. 83, No. 9, February 1994, Broken Wands, Irving Desfor, page 43
  • Photos by Irving Desfor, by Donald Desfor, Magic, December 1993, page 46.