I grew up in Allentown, Penna. in the 1950's, located about an hour from Philly. My ethnic background was the same as Jack's, right down to the same Jewish eastern European/Russian/"The Pale" villages that he and his parents and my parents traversed on their way to America.
Though not a sentimential man to nonfamily members, he took a shining to me and we spent many hours over the years speaking, much in Yiddish.
Jack was certainly an acquired taste, and his seemingly crude and rough appearance & manner was definitely considered low brow in the 1950s & 1960's...especially since at that time the "tasteful" Lee Gray, Milbourne Christopher and John MulHolland personas represented "Magic" to our community.
Consequently, Jack was under appreciated and never received proper recognition or respect from the "insiders" and frankly, was considered by many an embarrassment. Not withstanding his great Chinese stage act, he was essentially what today would be considered a street magician or close up worker, utlilizing everyday articles....very, very inexpensive articles, at that.
Of course, he took a very Gaucho Marx public attitude about not being welcomed in the "club" and compensated somewhat by being perfectly outrageous at MAES and local gatherings. He very infrequently traveled, and since he was used to not really ever having what we would call "real" money in his life he was not willing or able to accomodate or transform himself to become a more "commercial" enough act/performer to acquire wealth.
He was, like Duke Stern, the last of a certain breed. There is no one like him today.