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Jacques Morintell

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Jacques Morintell
BornJohn Ball, Jr.
July 8, 1911
Schenectady, New York
DiedOctober 15, 1988 (age 77)
Encino, California

Jacques Morintell (1911-1988) was the semi-professional magician and mystery novel author, John Ball. In the 1930s, he also performed as Howduzi.[1]


Morintell moved to Milwaukee as a child and after graduation from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, he joined Fortune magazine in 1937 and three years later became an assistant curator of the Hayden Planetarium.

In 1933, while living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin[2] he contributed an article called "Further Ideas" to the Sphinx in 1937.[3]

As a writer, Ball is best known for mystery novels involving the African-American police detective Virgil Tibbs introduced in the 1965 book "In the Heat of the Night". It won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America and was made into an Oscar-winning film of the same name starring Sidney Poitier.

Ball died of colon cancer in Encino (California) Hospital.[4]


  1. Billboard March 8, 1930
  2. Who's Who in Magic, Sphinx, May , 1933
  3. Sphinx, March 1937
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