Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-American magician and escapologist, stunt performer, actor and film producer. He was also a skeptic who set out to expose frauds purporting to be supernatural phenomena.
Harry Houdini was born as Erik Ivan Weisz in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, on March 24, 1874. From 1907 on, however, Houdini would claim in interviews to have been born in Appleton, Wisconsin, on April 6, 1874.
His parents were Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weisz and his wife, Cecelia. Houdini was one of seven children: Herman M. ; Nathan J. ; Gottfried William ; Theodore "Theo" ; Leopold D. ; and Gladys Carrie
Weisz came to the United States on July 3, 1878, sailing on the SS Fresia with his mother and his four brothers. The family changed the spelling of their Hungarian surname into Weiss and the spelling of their son's name into Ehrich. Friends called him "Ehrie" or "Harry".