About Me

"It's not right to say John spends every waking minute thinking about Houdini; he's a levelheaded guy with a job and a life. But it is right to say John would like to spend every waking minute thinking about Houdini."

Hello, my name is John Cox, and I'm wild about Harry!

My fascination with Houdini began in
late 1975 when I was hit with the double whammy of seeing the old Paramount biopic HOUDINI (1953) and watching the late great Doug Henning perform Houdini’s Water Torture Cell live on NBC. Who was this amazing Houdini fellow who could escape from anything? That month, I bought my first two Houdini books: the perennial Houdini on Magic by Walter B. Gibson and William Lindsey Gresham’s biography, Houdini: The Man Who Walked Through Walls. I was hooked. Nearly 50 years later, I am still on a never-ending quest to discover more about the "Master Mystifier."

As a teen, I dabbled in escape and performance magic and wrote articles about Houdini for my school newspapers. I billed myself as a "Houdini Enthusiast" and would haunt bookstores for Houdini rarities. Inspired by Houdini's skills as a self-publicist, I was able to attract newspaper coverage of my escapes and growing Houdini collection. I even appeared on The Toni Tennille Show where I did a straitjacket escape.

The "Houdini Enthusiast" in 1980.

Along the way, I was mentored by Houdini experts like Manny Weltman and Patrick Culliton. I was also fortunate to strike up a relationship with Houdini’s niece, Marie Blood. I became a member of The Magic Castle in Hollywood on my 21st birthday...held in the Houdini Seance Room, of course!

After graduating from the USC School of Cinema-Televison in 1990 (where I made a Houdini documentary as one of my projects), I became a professional screenwriter, penning projects for Warner Bros., MGM, 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks, ABC, USA, and the WB networks. (You can read more about my screenwriting career here.) Today, I work primarily in Digital Cinema and devote my creative energy to Houdini. 

I give illustrated lectures on Houdini's life and career, provide tours of the Houdini Estate in Laurel Canyon, and consult on Houdini projects for film, radio, and television. I've appeared in several television documentaries, including two episodes of Houdini's Last Secrets with George Hardeen, The UnXplained with William Shatner, Strange Inheritance with Jamie Colby, and the 2021 BBC documentary Houdini's Lost Diaries. I also had the pleasure of appearing in Joe Posnanski's bestselling The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini. 

My first book, Escaping Obscurity: The Travel Diary of Harry Houdini, 1897-1899, will be published by Mike Caveney's Magic Words in 2024. I'm currently working on a definitive chronology of Houdini's life and career, which I plan to publish in three volumes. I'm also planning a book about the movie that started it all for me, HOUDINI (1953).

In 2006, I launched my first Houdini website, Houdini Lives! I expanded that site into WILD ABOUT HARRY in 2010. Here I keep up with all current Houdini news, auctions, book/DVD releases, and cultural references. I also have a very active Patreon for those wanting to delve deeper into Houdini history with me.

Yes, I'm wild about Harry! And so are you.

"John Cox is the loving and diligent caretaker of my grandfather's and great uncle's astounding legacy. Thanks forever, John. You're a true brother to me!" - George Hardeen 
"If you're wild about Houdini, you'll like this very well-done Houdini fan site." - Teller  

"The number one Houdini expert and historian," - Bill Smith  

"Your WILD ABOUT HARRY site continues to amaze us all. I have no idea how you do it!" - John Gaughan
"If anyone is interested in learning anything about Houdini, it’s a wealth of information that you won’t find in a book. I learned an enormous amount from John." - Kristen Connolly
"Thank you for your continuing dedication to Houdini. Your blog is far and away the best Houdini resource in the world today." - Bruce MacNab 
"John is performing a service for us all by going the extra mile, past those first few Google result pages, to find the really obscure, undiscovered stuff." - The Mandala 

"You're the Internet's Eclipsing Sensation!" - Todd Karr, The Miracle Factory 

"A great resource for Houdini info." - Potter & Potter Auctions  

"You are a star." - David Copperfield  

With David Copperfield in the Copperfield Collection, 2018.

With Michael Weston (Houdini & Doyle) at The Magic Castle, 2016.

With Kristen Connolly (Houdini Miniseries) and Tom Interval, 2013.

With Dorothy Dietrich & Dick Brookz at The Grim Game premiere, 2015.

Milbourne Christopher "Ambassador of Magic" Award 2023.

The Linking Ring, October 2020.

Getting decked by Houdini in Hocus Pocus #2 (2020)

Promotional Bio:
JOHN COX had been obsessed with Harry Houdini for nearly 50 years. He writes the popular blog Wild About Harry, which has drawn over 11 million views, and is the author of the new book Escaping Obscurity: The Travel Diary of Harry Houdini, 1897-1899. John has also written for film and television. As one of the world’s foremost Houdini experts, John consults on Houdini projects for stage, film, and television. He helps curate the Houdini collection at David Copperfield’s International Museum of the Conjuring Arts in Las Vegas. He is also an acclaimed lecturer and has appeared in numerous documentaries. In 2023, John received the prestigious Milbourne Christopher Ambassador of Magic Award. John lives in Los Angeles, where he is currently working on a definitive three-volume chronological study of Houdini’s life and career.