A documentary about his life, “An Honest Liar,” was screened. Using a singular combination of reason, showmanship, constitutional cantankerousness and a profound knowledge of the weapons in the modern magician’s arsenal, he traveled the country exposing seers who did not see, healers who did not heal and many others. “I want to be cremated,” he said. She said the family had been living in a temporary home in Eugene since September, after their longtime home along the McKenzie River, near Finn Rock, Ore., was consumed by a wildfire. He interviewed scientists, trappers and native people in the American and Canadian Northwest. I am a traditional storyteller. In his regular classes, he proved such a gifted student that the local school system soon threw up its hands and let him attend only to take exams. Show more videos from . You may always enhance any obituary with your condolences, stories or photos. AP News - 41 days ago. In one highly publicized stunt intended to show the gullibility of the news media, he had a young associate — his life partner, then known as José Alvarez — pose as a spirit medium named Carlos. Mr. Randi began his career as an illusionist and escape artist. Though he remained a dyed-in-the-wool rationalist to the last, Mr. Randi did have a contingency plan for the hereafter, as he told New Times in 2009. You may always enhance any obituary with your condolences, stories or photos. His wife, Debra Gwartney, confirmed his death and said that Mr. Lopez had had prostate cancer. He decided it was time to forsake escapism. In “Crow and Weasel” (1990), a fable of long ago, “when people and animals spoke the same language,” two youngsters leave their plains tribe and come of age facing perils in the wilderness on a quest for wisdom. Not so, said Mr. Randi, who explained that these were ordinary amusements, done by covertly bending the objects in advance. On a tour of Australia in 1988, “Carlos” drew hordes of worshipful followers, and the uncritical attention of many journalists, as he pretended to channel long-dead spirits. “Magicians are the most honest people in the world: They tell you they’re going to fool you, and then they do it.”, Mr. Randi began his career in the late 1940s as an illusionist and escape artist. “Space has no depth. He had reached the United States on a student visa. He taught at Columbia University, Eastern Washington University, the University of Iowa, Carleton College in Minnesota and Texas Tech University, where his works are archived. By then he had built a parallel career investigating claims of the paranormal, much as Houdini had done. Among his many honors, he had a minor planet named for him, Asteroid 3163 Randi, discovered in 1981. He wrote many books, among them “Flim Flam! Go to the New York Times' advertising department website. “I knew that if I panicked, I would be dead — that’s all there is to it.”. “These things used to be on the back of cornflakes boxes,” Mr. Randi, his voice italic with derision, once told the television interviewer Larry King. John Prine, the raspy-voiced country-folk singer whose ingenious lyrics to … Mr. Randi resided for many years in Rumson, N.J., in a house equipped with secret staircases, a talking door knocker and clocks that ran backward. Attending Sunday school as a boy, he was moved often to inquiry. In 1976, with the astronomer Carl Sagan, the writer Isaac Asimov and others, Mr. Randi founded what is now the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In the title story, a smug, materialistic yuppie meets a violent end in a Caribbean vacation paradise: “The first bullet tore through his left triceps, the second, third, fourth and fifth hit nothing, the sixth perforated his spleen, the seventh and eighth hit nothing, the ninth hit the console, sending electrical sparks up, the tenth went through his right palm, the next four went into the air, the fifteenth tore his left ear away, the sixteenth ricocheted off the sixth cervical vertebra and drove down through his heart, exiting through his abdomen and lodging in his foot.”. “In coming to terms with the difference between what we know and what we imagine about the wolf, Lopez has shed light on some painful truths about the human experience,” Whitley Strieber said in a review for The Washington Post. Mr. Peña, who spent six weeks in jail and faced deportation, later pleaded guilty to a single count of passport fraud. AP News - 39 days ago. World; U.S. Search All NYTimes.com. Hearing of a local preacher who professed to read minds, he attended a service. See all Celebrity Death News Remember. Hugh Keays-Byrne, Played villains in "Mad Max" movies. “It treats the distant snowy world of the Arctic as a place that exists not only in the mathematics of geography, but also in the terra incognita of our imaginations,” Michiko Kakutani wrote in a review of “Arctic Dreams” in The New York Times. We are constantly trying to improve our data and make the search for obituaries as easy as possible. They both took the Lopez surname. Mr. Lopez was a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine and wrote for many national publications. Daily News obituaries and Death Notices for New York New York area . Known professionally as the Amazing Randi, he dedicated his life to exposing seers who did not see, healers who did not heal and many others. “He is much attracted to the rift that has opened between human society and nature, and, more specifically, to the theory that art can close it. “Popoff says God tells him these things,” Mr. Randi told U.S. News & World Report in 2002. James Randi, a MacArthur award-winning magician who turned his formidable savvy to investigating claims of spoon bending, mind reading, fortunetelling, ghost whispering, water dowsing, faith healing, U.F.O. Browse obituaries, conduct other obituary searches, offer condolences/tributes, send flowers or create an online memorial. “But apparently some scientists either don’t eat cornflakes, or they don’t read the back of the box.”. At once elfin and Mephistophelian, with a bushy white beard and piercing eyes, Mr. Randi — known professionally as the Amazing Randi — was a father of the modern skeptical movement. Mr. Lopez spent five years in the Arctic, and his books, essays and short stories explored the kinship of nature and human culture. The phone number for submitting obituaries is 212-556-3900 for calls within New York City, and 800-458-5522 for calls from outside the city. Note: All data in this third-party database was obtained from the Obituary Daily Times. Explore Life Stories, Offer Condolences & Send Flowers. He considered the priesthood but enrolled in the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1966 and a master’s in teaching in 1968. You will have to write the obituary. Through the James Randi Educational Foundation, Mr. Randi sponsored the Million Dollar Challenge, a contest offering $1 million to the person who, following rigorous scientific protocols, could demonstrate evidence of a paranormal, supernatural or occult phenomenon. He was 81. 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