Between 1915 and 1924, Claude Alexander ("The Man Who Knows") Conlin, astounded theatre audiences throughout North America with feats of mind-reading and psychic prediction that defied explanation (some suspect that his turban concealed an early radio unit). A charismatic showman (and con-man), Alexander reinvented the psychic act and enjoyed a popularity matched by few of his vaudevillian contemporaries. At the height of his career, he sold out theatres across the United States and Canada for weeks at a time, making millions from box office receipts, and from the sale of books, crystal balls, and related merchandise.
Yet The Man Who Knows had a dark side as well. He was reportedly a perfectionist, obsessed with controlling every aspect of his life and career. Married eleven times, he was a notorious womaniser. He was also a con-man, arrested numerous times for fraud and blackmail; who even dabbled in bootlegging, opium trafficking, and white slave trade.
Too much turban? Went to his head.
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Alexander, The Man Who Knows
Claude Alexander Conlin, Photograph Circa 1915
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