Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

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Paul Green
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Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Paul Green » September 30th, 2011, 10:03 pm

I just received the news of my friend Burt Sperber passing away today. I have no details to share.

Burt was one of the "Good Guys" in our society. He was involved with many charitable organizations and really did many positive things for the world.

He loved Magic and Mentalism. He delighted in his projects that furthered the arts of both. The exhibit at the Skirball Museum, in Los Angeles, exists because of his efforts and friendships from around the world.

I was lucky to call him my friend. I will miss him.

Respectfully,

Paul Green

Pete McCabe
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Pete McCabe » September 30th, 2011, 11:26 pm

A great man and a great loss.

RobertAllen
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby RobertAllen » September 30th, 2011, 11:43 pm

I'm sorry for your loss :(.

houdini's ghost
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby houdini's ghost » September 30th, 2011, 11:58 pm

A great man. A wonderful man. My deepest sympathy to Charlene Sperber.
And all the people who loved him.
Losing Burt Sperber really hurts.
Patrick Culliton
P.S. Thank you, Burt, for your contributions to magic history, mentalism. Your charities.
Those beautiful books you published!

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Dustin Stinett » October 1st, 2011, 12:04 am

Yes: I always looked forward to whatever this very generous man was giving away at the History Conference. And it was always very nice, informative, and well produced.

Thanks for everything Burt. You will be missed.

KirkG
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby KirkG » October 1st, 2011, 12:08 am

A terrible loss of a great man. My condolences to his family and friends.

Bob Cassidy
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Bob Cassidy » October 1st, 2011, 1:14 am

Burt will be sorely missed. He was a longtime member of the PEA and a good friend.

May he rest in peace.

Bob Cassidy
And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future.-Criswell

David Stahl
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby David Stahl » October 1st, 2011, 10:06 am

This is a sad loss for magic.

I will hold dear to me, the fond memories of spending the day with Bert at his lovely home in Malibu and going through and admiring his exquisite magic collection. Even more impressive to me was looking out over the ocean and watching the whales migrate right in front of Bert's place on the beach.

Burt was both knowledgeable and generous. Bert had the economic means to make things happen, and that is exactly what he did. Instead of selling his lecture notes following any one of his interesting presentations, he kindly bestowed a copy upon everyone in attendance. If Bert was involved in a project, it was always first class, only the best.

A while back, during the filming of the world magic awards we sat together. I thanked Bert and Charlene for their generosity towards the magic community, and told them how much I was looking forward to visiting with them again during the next LA History Conference.

My sincere condolences go out to Charlene. The recent years have not been kind to Charlene, after losing a daughter to cancer (actress - Wendie Jo Sperber) in 2005 and now losing her husband Bert. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Charlene.

RIP Bert, you will be missed and not forgotten.

David Stahl

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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Geno Munari » October 1st, 2011, 10:45 am

He was a neat guy. This is a real loss to the magic world.
My condolences to his family.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 1st, 2011, 11:10 pm

Does anyone know the circumstances surrounding Burt's sudden death?
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 1st, 2011, 11:12 pm

If you want to read more about Burt as a businessman, here's a nice profile:

http://www.csqmag.com/issues/Q32008/burtsperber.html
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Richard Hatch » October 1st, 2011, 11:57 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Does anyone know the circumstances surrounding Burt's sudden death?

According to a post by Ray Ricard on Burt's facebook page, he had gone into the hospital for routine hernia surgery (Ray spoke with him by phone Thursday night).

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magicam
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby magicam » October 2nd, 2011, 1:32 am

Its only natural for us to wonder what happened, but at this time, out of respect for Mrs. Sperber and the rest of Burts family, it should suffice to say that Burt passed away during surgery, that it was a bit more complicated than a simple hernia operation, but that (according to my understanding) it was still a relatively routine surgical procedure, which makes his death all the more shocking.

With that, Im at a loss for words right now, other than to say what Burts friends and family already know: you will be sorely missed, my friend.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 2nd, 2011, 6:00 pm

Often people will announce they're having a lesser and not very serious type of surgery (such as a hernia operation) when in fact it's something more serious because they don't want friends or business associates worried, or don't want the value of their company to be perceived as in jeopardy.

I don't think many people die during hernia surgery, so I've been puzzled about that since first hearing it. I don't know exactly what type of hernia Burt may have had, but the mortality rate from the surgery seems to be between 1 and 2 percent.
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby hugmagic » October 2nd, 2011, 9:34 pm

Unfortunately I did not know Burt very well. Seems like I would see him at Collector Functions every year or so. I built a rose bush for him once but his generosity was seen and felt by many. At the last LA Conference, he gave a wonderful book on his collection of magic catalogues.
I regret now I did not get to know him better. It certainly makes one realizes how fragile life and our time together is. When I go to the conference in November, I will think of him and try to talk more with others that have so much to share. We can never regain those lose moments.
David, it was wonderful and so special that you were able to tell Burt and Charlene how much they were appreciated.
Richard
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luigimar
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby luigimar » October 3rd, 2011, 1:13 am

Operations are always dangerous, no matter how 'routine' or 'easy' they are. My grandfather died before I was born (he died in '58 or '59, I never had the guts to ask the exact date and those who know won't tell, too painful). They say he had problems with the anesthetic substance and his body had a bad reaction. We will never know.

About Mr Sperber, we'll find out sooner or later. Instead, let's say a prayer for Burton and hope his family finds resignation soon, which is not easy.
luigimar

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Burton Sperber has Crossed Over

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 3rd, 2011, 3:09 pm

It was in fact a hernia operation, but with unforseen complications.

I just received this, with information regarding the funeral:

The Sperber family appreciates your kind words and emails over the last several days. Your acknowledgement brings them great comfort during this difficult time.

Many of you have inquired about funeral arrangements. We learned today that the service will be held on Wednesday, October 5 at 10 am at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills. A link to the directions on their website is below. A reception will follow at Valley Crests corporate headquarters in Calabasas.

http://www.mt-sinai.com/directions/
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magicam
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Re: Burton Sperber Memorial Services

Postby magicam » October 3rd, 2011, 4:41 pm

Image

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Kevin Connolly
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Re: Burton Sperber Memorial Services

Postby Kevin Connolly » October 4th, 2011, 7:59 am

Burt was a class act in and out of the magic world. He will be missed.

Here is the link in today's LA Times obit.

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-burton-sperber-20111004,0,4009267.story
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Richard Hatch
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Re: Burton Sperber Memorial Services

Postby Richard Hatch » October 4th, 2011, 10:49 am

From the LA Times Obituary:
"Introduced to magic when he was 10 by his uncle, a magician at the Magic Castle in Hollywood..." Burt was born in 1929, so this would have been in 1939. His uncle only became active at the Castle much later, since it didn't open until 1963.

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Re: Burton Sperber Memorial Services

Postby Max Maven » October 4th, 2011, 5:30 pm

Burt's uncle was Maury Leaf, who was very active when the Castle began.

In the 1970s, after he'd passed on, his Snake Basket (which he'd built himself) was on display in the "Robert-Houdin Museum" that used to exist next to the Palace (the area that is now the performers' dining room).

Dave Dorsett
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Re: Burton Sperber Memorial Services

Postby Dave Dorsett » October 4th, 2011, 5:50 pm

Mr. Sperber was always a joy to work with and his knowledge of magic history ran both broad and deep. Many were the times we would work on a specialized project for him with little regard to costing because it was just such a joy to learn from him.

Magic suffers a great loss with his passing.

Dave Dorsett
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