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Max Hapner

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Max Hapner

Cover of Genii (1973)
BornAugust 4, 1930
Caldwell, Kansas
DiedMay 10, 2011 (age 80)
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Max Hapner (1930-2011) was a semi-professional magician specializing at school assemblies with assistant-wife Salli and later became one of the first magicians to perform regularly at a theme park. Their pet effect was the Basket Trick, which included a surprise costume change.[1]


Hapner became interested in magic when he was 10 years old in Caldwell, Kansas while watching school magician George Staples.

He majored in Physical Education at Friend's University in Wichita, Kansas while working selling magic at Lloyd Chamber's Magic Shop in Wichita.

While serving in the Air Force he was stationed in Las Vegas. Later he moved back to Kansas and worked for the Army as a sports director at Fort Leavenworth. This is where he met a young lady named Salli who was majoring in Art at the University of Kansas. Before long they were doing magic together with Salli doing most of the magic in their first show. They were married two years later.

When the University of Minnesota needed a replacement act for a school assembly show tour, the Hapners took the position,. It started a series of eight years working assemblies all over the United States.

In 1961, he and Salli moved to Colorado and performed seasonally at Santa's Workshop, an amusement park at North Pole, Colorado. Max eventually accepted the position of Personnel Manager at the North Pole while still doing the shows. The Hapners enjoyed 11 years association with Santa's Workshop.

Over the years they performed for magicians at conventions in St. Louis in 1963 and 1971; Frances Marshall's anniversary show in Chicago in 1971; the Maimi IBM-SAM Convention in 1973; and in October 1972 at Milt Larsen's "It's Magic!" in Hollywood.[2]

They retired on October 9, 2005.[3] [4]


  1. SAM Broken Wand
  2. Genii 1973 October (cover)
  3. Linking Ring, December 2006, page 162