…on Dec. 5 at the age of 73
Let this be my thank you to all the magicians I have known for their friendship, encouragement, and generosity. They are a worthy lot and I have immensely enjoyed their camaraderie.
…Bro. John Hamman from “The Secrets of Brother John Hamman”
Brother John Charles Hamman, S.M. (Sep. 3, 1927- Dec. 5, 2000) died on Dec. 5 at the age of 73. Bro. Hamman has made major contributions to the art and craft of card magic with several classic sleights and routines bearing his name. His style of magic influenced many magicians who fell in love with his slow and deliberate performance style that truly added focus and maximum impact to his routines. As Paul LePaul described it 1958, “His manner is so disarming, and so casual, and his magic is so frustrating… Figuratively, he leads you down the garden path, until he gets you into exactly the spot he wants, and then he turns on the sprinkler.”
In 1952 he contracted Polio which confined him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His passions were Magic, Teaching, and Baseball. His vocation was a Brother in the order of the Society Of Mary (Marist Fathers and Brothers) where he taught children in the at the St. John Vianney High School in St. Louis, MO for more than 20 years. When his health started failing in 1995 he moved to the St. Joseph Health Care Center in San Antonio, TX which is where he was when he passed away.
In the Forword to the “Seven Deadly Miracles” Stephen Minch wrote about Bro. Hamman’s magic, “His tricks are pure magic, his psychology cunning and his methods artistic. These elements multiply geometrically to create delightful entertainment and sweet mystery that is far greater than the pieces that go into the creation of the puzzle.”
His contribution to card magic will never be forgotten due to the fact that his routines can be found in the repertoire of just about every professional close-up magician. His inventiveness has always continued and much of that work has yet to see print. In recent years he began working on red-black separation strategies and routines. Hopefully many of his yet unpublished routines and ideas will surface through his many friends and his memory will be kept alive.
A wake for Bro. Hamman will take place at the Chapel of the Marianist Residence in San Antonio, TX on Sunday Dec. 10 with the funeral on Monday Dec. 11. A memorial mass will be held on Saturday Dec. 23 at 10am at the St. John Vianney High School chapel in St. Louis, Mo.
Bro. John Hamman, S.M. — A brief bibliography:
Books, booklets and special issues:
1958- The Card Magic of Bro. John Hamman S.M. (Paul LePaul)
1972- Pallbearers Review Folio #7 (Karl Fulves)
1984- Seven Deadly Miracles (Stephen Minch)
1989- The Secrets of Brother John Hamman (Richard Kaufman)
Original routines he is best known for:
Final Aces, The Pinochle Trick, The Signed Card, The Twins, The Two-Card Trick, and Two-Shuffles Harry.
Original sleights he is best known for:
Flushtration Count, Gemini Count, and The Hamman Count.
The Amorphous Ace, Fan-To See, Fantabulous, Final Aces, Five Kings Royal, Flight Of Four, Fourtunate Choice, Haldeucination, Magician Vs. Gambler, Micro-Macro, Stun-Sational, Thought Cards Across, and Thunderstruck.
Greater Magic Video #38: John Hamman
Awards and Honors:
• The Society Of American Magicians Assembly Number 52 in San Antonio, TX is named “The Brother John Hamman Assembly.”
• In 1981 Bro. Hamman received a Creative Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts and Sciences.
• In 1998 Bro. Hamman was the Convention Honoree at the Texas Association of Magicians Convention in San Antonio, TX.
• In 1995 Bro. Hamman received the St. Louis Magic Heritage Award.