James Randi, the internationally acclaimed magician and escape artist, both praised and cursed for devoting much of his career to debunking all things paranormal – from spoon bending and water dowsing to spirit channelling and faith healing – has died. He was 92.
His educational foundation announced the death but did not provide additional details. In recent years, he had been treated for cancer and heart ailments.
An inveterate sceptic and bristly contrarian in his profession, Randi insisted that magic is based solely on earthly sleight of hand and visual trickery.
He scorned fellow magicians who allowed or encouraged audiences to believe their work was rooted in extrasensory or paranormal powers.