Randi, James

Randi, James (b. Randall James Hamilton Zwinge)

(1928–  ) magician, lecturer, skeptic; born in Toronto, Canada. He dropped out of high school at age 17 and soon became an adept escape artist and magician. Upset by the claims of Uri Geller to have paranormal powers, he founded the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (1973). He went on to expose many frauds, notably the television evangelist Peter Popoff (1986) who claimed to hear God's voice. He received a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1987. He continued his mission to expose trickery among magicians and others who claimed they possessed supernatural powers.