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 Benjamin “Black Herman” Rucker

Benjamin “Black Herman” Rucker

Birth
Amherst, Amherst County, Virginia, USA
Death 15 Apr 1934 (aged 45)
Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Honeysuckle R18 G194 unmarked
Memorial ID 19480586 · View Source
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Entertainer. As a young boy growing up in his hometown of Amherst, Virginia, he met and became the apprentice to a magician and "tonic" salesman named Prince Herman. When his mentor died in 1909, Rucker took over the show at the age of seventeen, set up his home base in Harlem, New York, and to honor his teacher, adopted the stage name "Black Herman". His magic show became famous as he toured the country, often performing in front of racially mixed audiences, which was unusual for that era. His most famous feat was his "Black Herman's Private Graveyard" act where, a few days before his next performance, he would sell tickets so people could watch his "lifeless body" (the audience was allowed to check for a pulse) be placed in a coffin and buried near the venue of his next scheduled show. On the day of the show, tickets were sold so the audience could witness the coffin being dug up and watch the magician emerge from the coffin alive and well. He would then lead the crowd to the theater for his performance. He died while performing on stage in Louisville, Kentucky. The audience thought it was a new part of his act and refused to accept the fact that the famous magician was really dead. When he was moved to a nearby funeral home, crowds followed and paid an admission fee (charged by his assistant) to see if the magician would once again "resurrect" from the dead. Reportedly people brought pins to poke the body to see if he really was dead. Recognized during his lifetime as one of America's most prominent magicians, a somewhat embellished autobiography appears in the book "Secrets of Magic, Mystery and Legerdemain".

Bio by: Bigwoo


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bigwoo
  • Added: 22 May 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19480586
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Benjamin “Black Herman” Rucker (6 Jun 1888–15 Apr 1934), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19480586, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .