Daniel Ellsberg: Magician

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Richard Hatch
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah

Daniel Ellsberg: Magician

Postby Richard Hatch » March 16th, 2023, 12:00 am

On page 15 of the May 2017 Genii, in "The Eye" section, mention is made of a Washington Post article by Margaret Sullivan that opens by describing a scarf trick (an appearing and vanishing knot in the reporter's scarf) performed by Daniel Ellsberg of "Pentagon Papers" fame. More recently, journalist Seymour Hersh reminisced about Ellsberg (who announced a terminal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer on March 6. He will be 92 in April) and mentioned that Ellsberg did magic tricks for Hersh's small children in the 1970s and later says that he taught magic tricks to Hersh's kids. Hersh's son, Josh Hersch (@joshuahersh), in a link on twitter to his father's article, says he grew up thinking of Ellsberg only as "this magical, charismatic man who could make handkerchiefs disappear in his fist and find quarters behind my ear."

I couldn't find any mention of Ellsberg's interest in magic elsewhere, so he seems not have been active in organized magic circles. Does anyone know what level of interest he had and what his background in magic was? Perhaps he frequented Al's Magic Shop, as did other Washington insiders?
Here's a link to Hersh's article:

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Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
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Re: Daniel Ellsberg: Magician

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 18th, 2023, 1:33 am

This 2010 article in The Michigan Daily mentions that magic was Ellsberg's hobby, and that the then-79-year-old Ellsberg performed the trick, the Square Circle in the documentary, “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.”

https://www.michigandaily.com/uncategor ... the-state/

The blog, "Mass Live" recounts how Ellsberg (at age 90) was engaged to participate in a seminar by a History professor as the University of Massachusetts. Here's a snippet from the May 6, 2021 blog:

"A student at one point asked Ellsberg about the magic tricks he would do for the young Vietnamese children while he was working there during the war. 'Oh, I’ll do a trick for you right now,' history’s most famous whistleblower said, and he pulled out a handkerchief."

https://www.masslive.com/news/2021/05/i ... other.html

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