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John Novak

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John Novak
BornJohn Andrew Novak
May 14, 1931
New Philadelphia, Ohio
DiedJuly 17, 2004 (age 73)
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Resting placeEvergreen Memorial Park in New Philadelphia, Ohio

John Novak (1931-2004), who performed as NOVA, was an author and the editor of ASA and Escape magazines. He estimated that he had performed over 5,000 magic shows during his career.


He authored over 25 books on magic, was a consultant to leading magicians as Doug Henning, Lance Burton, Siegfried and Roy, Mark Wilson and David Copperfield, and served as a mentor for young people who wanted to learn the craft.[1] [2]

Novak served in the Army and then the Air Force from 1948-1970 doing tours in Korea and Vietnam. He received the Korean Service Medal with one bronze star, and the National Defense Service Medal.

He was a member of the Cleveland chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (Ring #23), the Society of American Magicians, and served as a president of the San Antonio, Texas Magic Club.

He spoke Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French and taught International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Maryland.[3]


  • 2nd place in the Cleveland Magicians Club annual Stage Magic competition in 2004.


  • The Art of Escapes: Handcuff Act (1979)
  • The Art of Escapes: Selected Chain Escapes (1979)
  • The Art of Escapes: Metamorphosis (1979)
  • The Art of Escapes: Escapes from a Straight Jacket (1979)
  • What Lee Jacobs did not Tell you about the 75ft Rope (1979)
  • The John Cornelius Card System (1980)
  • The Art of Escapes: Bohemian Torture Escape (1980)
  • The Art of Escapes: Mail Bag Escape (1980)
  • The Art of Escapes: Thumb Ties (1980)
  • The Art of Escapes: The Protege (A Full Evening of Magic & Escapes) (1980)
  • The Egg Bag Book (1999)


  1. Obituary in Genii 2004 September, Vol. 67, No 9, page 13