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William Hilliar

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William Hilliar
BornWilliam John Hilliar
November 27, 1876
DiedNovember 15, 1936 (age 59)
CategoriesBooks by William Hilliar

William "Bill" Hilliar (November 27, 1876 - November 15, 1936), born in England, was a professional magician that performed in vaudeville and was founder of the Sphinx magazine.


For many years he was with the Barnum and Bailey Circus and other large circuses in charge of the side shows.

In the January 1901 issue of Mahatma, it was announced that he would start to contribute a column of interesting ideas to the paper beginning with the next issue. The first article would be devoted to shadow pictures. He moved to the United States in 1902.

He ghost-wrote T. Nelson Down's book Modern Coin Manipulation and wrote his own book Modern Magician's Hand Book (1902). He also most likely ghost-wrote Howard Thurston's Card Tricks(1901) and wrote the column on magic for The Billboard magazine.

He once performed, in disguise, as Howard Thurston while Thurston was sick.

Hilliar committed suicide by shooting himself just before his 60th birthday.