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On The Passing of a Vital Creator: John Cornelius

On The Passing of a Vital Creator: John Cornelius

On the Passing of John Cornelius...

I am not only sad about this, I am damn mad. The one man who gave so very much to magic, from whom so many just took and took, yet rarely did he get his due!! I was always mentioning John Cornelius. Do you do the "muscle pass"? Do you "Pen Thru Anything"? Do you do a trick where a flash appears between your hands or under an ungimmicked glass? How about vanishing mutlple coins at once using a special nickle? Or putty? Or how about the Fickle Nickle vanishing nickle everyone is back doing on the Internet today? How about a pad of paper that lights up for mentalists? How about the magnetic impression pad? Yes, sorry, but it was JOHN that created that first too before everyone else took it. BLESS IT!! This man deserved so much more from magic and magicians for all he gave... and rarely did he get the recognition. I can't tell you how sad I am truly for this loss.


One of my mentors, John Mendoza, held a one-off magic convention for a select few people. Among the lecturers were Dai Vernon, Paul Harris, a bunch of other close-up experts you probably heard of as well, and some new breakthrough guy who just won FISM named John Cornelius. If you never got to see the FISM flash before anyone knew what it was, it was REAL MAGIC in John's hands. He blew us away with everything he did. On top of being hyper-inventive, creative, and a good card and coin tech, he was a decent guy. I could hardly believe it. Now I know I got to hang out with a lot of big people when I was very young, but this one belongs in a special category. John did so much, and then did more, and then left magic because he was tired of not being compensated for all he did for decades. Then watched many companies steal and sell his ideas without payment to John. Later people wondered why he wasn't just willing to do anything for anyone at anytime anymore.

We lost Steranko the same way... he made millions doing creative work in more profitable fields. Today right before I got news that the gifted John Cornelius had passed, I saw that someone who ripped John and sold some of John's ideas as his own was being given a "Lifetime Achievement Award". Real creators rarely see such awards, but those who take from them too often do.

To me, this is a warning call. We lost someone who left with more to give us than most people could do for magic with three lifetimes. This is no hyperbole. John, I supported you whenever I could, and let people know who to credit, even when you had left us behind out of despair. Having left us in form totally now, I am so sad and hurt that more people did not support you and give you your due. I will take this time to once again acknowledge you for more than we can ever properly repay. If there is such a thing as karma, you racked up a ton of it for all you gave and never got compensated for while you were here. Thank you for being an inspiration, and for being so kind to a kid that was hanging with the big guys in his youth--who thought that it was normal. You were always kind and supportive to me, and I appreciate it, and I appreciate all that you gave to us.

I pray they will treat others better in the future John, with you in their memory. - Kenton Knepper