The Bizarre Celebrity Deaths of the 1920’s: Harry Houdini 1874-1926
Harry Houdini was the word’s most famous magician, known especially for his amazing escape acts. Houdini performed tricks for audiences from 1891 until his untimely death at the age of 52 in 1926. The official cause of death was recorded as peritonitis from a ruptured appendix, which many believed to be the fault of J. Gordon Whitehead, a student who surprised Houdini by punching him in the stomach several times after a performance.
Whitehead reportedly asked Houdini if it was true that he could he could take any blow in the stomach, which Houdini replied that he indeed could, not expecting his claim to be tested. Thought Houdini was in pain, he continued to travel for several days until he could not take it anymore. He passed away in a Detroit Hospital.