mid-teens, Larry sees his first magic—a four ace trick.
At age 16,
while in Detroit,
Larry joins the United States Navy. He starts his service on
June 29, 1949 and is honorably discharged on April 22, 1953. He
proudly serves aboard
Naval Boat #US 839.
While in the
Navy, a fellow sailor shows Larry a trick. Larry keeps pestering
the sailor to teach him the trick and after a while he relents.
discharge, Larry moves to Detroit
and meets a French-Canadian woman named Nina Chauvin. She lives
across the border in Windsor, Ontario with her eleven-year-old
daughter, Sheila. Larry moves to Windsor and the two are
while in Windsor,
Wilson moves in across the hall from Larry. It is Ron who
introduces Larry to the world of magic. Larry has a unique way
of meeting his neighbors. First, he places his trashcan in front
of someone’s door; then he knocks on the door to ask if the
neighbor has taken his trashcan. It is in this manner that Larry
meets Ron. Larry comes over and asks Ron if he has a deck of
cards. He then proceeds to show Ron the trick he had learned in
the Navy. Afterwards, not knowing Ron is a magician, Larry asks
him if he knows any magic. Ron then shows Larry “Out of This
World,” which completely fools him. He asks Ron to teach him the
effect, but Ron resists. Instead, he tells him to think about
it. Larry eventually figures it out and Ron continues to teach
him magic, introducing him to the magic of Edward Marlo and Dai
Larry joins the
Windsor Magic Circle.
Larry’s job as a combustion engineer has him watching a boiler
to make sure that the pressure doesn’t get too high. So,
basically he has nothing to do but practice. He practices the
coins through table so much that he eventually makes a groove in
In the early
1960s, Larry and Ron Wilson meet Dai Vernon for the first time
at a convention in Cleveland. Besides seeing the Professor
perform they also get to spend a little time with him, sharing a
walk back to the hotel.
walk around the conventions he attends with a deck of cards in
his hands asking, “Are there any cardmen here?” During the stage
shows, Larry would practice faro shuffles.
In 1961 at
the Columbus MagiFest, Larry meets a cardman who shares his
interests—Bruce Cervon. They become instant friends, sharing
their knowledge and discussing the works of Marlo and Vernon.
They subsequently meet at the MagiFest for the next two years
and correspond with one another between conventions. At one of
these conventions, Larry sees the card to wallet for the first
time. Performed by Walt Rollins, it completely fools him. After
everybody leaves, Larry picks up the envelope used and checks it
for rubber cement.
In the early
1960s, Larry’s mother dies.
Karrell Fox tells Larry about the Magic Castle. Knowing that Dai
Vernon now lives in Hollywood, Larry quits his job as a combustion engineer and he and
Nina move to California.
They live at 2005 Ivar Street, Apt. 7.
Larry gets a job working for Leo Behnke’s father in the plumbing
becomes friends with
Vernon and studies under him.
1964, Larry’s first published ideas, “A Snappy Lift” and “Lift
No. 2,” appear in a letter from Dai Vernon to The Gen
Larry, Dai Vernon, Charlie Miller, Ron Wilson, and Tony
Giorgio would regularly play poker with the provision that you
could cheat. However, if you got caught you would have to
forfeit your pot and leave the table. At one game, Larry grabs
Giorgio’s hand to reveal a palmed card.
In July 1967,
Larry publishes his first set of lecture notes,
Lecture Notes On Card And Coin Handling. These notes are written by his wife, Nina. Larry gives this
lecture at the Kansas City Jubilee, traveling there with Dai
Vernon and Ron Wilson.
In this same
year, a collection of Larry’s magic appears in Dai Vernon’s
Ultimate Secrets Of Card Magic.
Larry travels with Dai Vernon on his lecture tour of Japan. Here
he meets Hideo Kato who acts as their interpreter.
In 1970, a
second set of notes are published for a special lecture Larry
gives at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Again, they are written
by his wife, Nina.
one-man issue of
Genii is published in May 1970. The effects are written
by Jules Lenier.
Hideo Kato comes to America and studies card magic with Larry.
He writes a book on Larry’s card technique entitled
Larry Jennings-No Card Magic Nyuumon. Written in
Japanese, the book has yet to be translated into English.
Nina get divorced in the early 1970s.
mid-1970s, Larry meets his second wife, Geri, in Los Angeles.
They are married and move to Lake Tahoe, where he opens up his
own plumbing company, Jenco. They are later divorced.
Larry dates a
real estate agent named Greta.
mid-1970s, Karl Fulves publishes a special two-part issue of
Epilogue featuring Larry’s magic.
Larry meets B.J. in Lake Tahoe in 1977,
works as a blackjack dealer at a casino Larry frequents.
Jeff Busby who releases the effects Stabbed Coincidence
The Coin And Beer Can as well as the book
Larry Jennings On Card And Coin Handling (1977).
Tahoe, Larry performs after hours in the Baccarat pits for the
pit bosses. He is so popular that he is hired to do private
shows by the high rollers who come into town.
Larry is the guest of honor at the annual
Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic. He presents a new lecture
for the event.
appearance at Fechter’s, Larry is invited to lecture in Japan.
Japan Lecture Notes are produced for the occasion. These
are put together by B.J. and Louis Falanga.
early 1980s Larry sells his business in Lake Tahoe and moves to
Newport Beach, CA to work at the Magic Island. Larry is the
resident magician and is placed in charge of booking. He
tries to get higher pay for the magicians and when the
management refuses, he quits.
Larry moves in with James Patton and the two
frequently have sessions. Jim convinces Larry to do another
lecture and in 1982, Larry lectures at the Magic Castle,
presenting the material from
With Larry Jennings.
to work for the Los Angeles Unified School District and moves to
In the early
1980s, Larry goes to France and shoots his first magic videos
for Pierre Mayer.
Larry and Louis Falanga start L&L Publishing.
In April of
1986, Larry Jennings and Dai Vernon are invited to perform at
the Circulo De Magios Maxicanos IV Convencion De Magia in
The Classic Magic Of Larry Jennings is released. It is
the largest collection of Larry’s magic to date, containing over
quickly followed by the publication of
Neoclassics (1987) and
The Cardwright (1988).
Larry and B.J. are wed on December
1990s, Larry continues to share his magic with two new sets of
lecture notes and five videotapes.
Larry is awarded the
Creative Fellowship by the Academy of Magical Arts.
continues to frequent the Magic Castle, performing both formally
Larry and B.J.
continue to live in North Hollywood until his death on October 17,
1997 at age sixty-four.
death, Larry’s magic continues to inspire with the publication
of his effects in various magazines and most notably in Richard
It is the largest collection of Larry’s magic since The
Classic Magic Of Larry Jennings.
Larry Jennings is one of the topics studied at the Escorial in