Kresge, George J.

Kresge, George J. (Kreskin) (1935– ) George Joseph Kresge Jr. became famous as a mind reader during the 1960s and 1970s, when he performed on stage using the name the Amazing Kreskin. He also had his own television show, The Amazing World of Kreskin, which aired in syndication from 1971 to 1975, and he appeared as a guest on other television shows, most notably the David Letterman show during the 1990s. Kresge became interested in stage magic and hypnotism as a boy, when he would perform for friends and family. As an adult, he patterned his stage techniques after his idol, Joseph Dunninger, who had performed mind reading more than thirty years earlier. Dunninger had been the target of scathing attacks on his abilities because he claimed to be a genuine psychic, so Kresge decided to call himself a mentalist instead. The Amazing Kreskin typically demonstrates his mindreading talents by guessing birthdates and other facts related to members of his audience, by saying what is on a playing card without looking at it, or by finding an object that someone hid prior to his show. Skeptics say that all of these tricks can be accomplished by a trained stage magician, but others argue that Kresge is, like his idol Dunninger, a genuine psychic.

SEE ALSO:

  • Psychics

SOURCE:

The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning

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