Broken Wand – Ken Krenzel


Ken Front and Center at a Parent Assembly Lecture 1963 Photo from the Doug Edwards Collection

Ken  Krenzel was born and  raised on the Lower East Side of New  York.  At the age of seven he saw a marionette show at his school and,  in his words, it started his “ life-long and passionate love of magic and all things magical”  As a youngster, Ken became a charter member of  F.A.M.E. (Future American Magical Entertainers) run by Dr. Abraham Hurwitz , known as Peter Pan The Magic Man. This amazing group of young magicians would become major players in our magic world.  *

As Ken grew up he pursued the study of psychology in college and eventually earned a Ph.D.      He was a Diplomate  in the American Board of Professional  Psychology.  Ken had served for many   years as Psychologist for the Board of Education  in the City of  New York  where he eventually became a supervisor of School Psychologists.  He was a member of the board and vice president of the Executive Committee of the   New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center before going into private practice.

In his magic, he became well known as a leading exponent of expert sleight-of-hand with cards.  He has published material in various magic journals: The Gen, Genii, MUM, Hugard’s Magic Monthly, Phoenix, Hierophant, Kabbala, Epilogue, New Jinx, Apocalypse, and the Minotaur. His art has been featured in books like “The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel “in 1978.   His ‘Ingenuities” book is much sought after.    He was always recognized as   the “magicians’ magician.”

In 1993 Ken was the Parent Assembly # 1   Society of American Magicians Magician of the Year and became its Dean in October of 2011.    Ken was always a proponent of keeping the “secrecy” of magic and played a role  in combating  “exposure” of magic effects.   He often mused that;    “I never have to worry about falling into a second childhood. Magic has kept me in my first childhood. “ Long time friend Rabbi Noach Valley officiated at the funeral   where the “broken wand”   service was performed by   Dean George  Schindler

*Ken’s contemporaries were Howard Schwarzman,  George Schindler , Albert Goshman, George Gilbert, Harry Lorayne, Jack London, Victor Sendax ,  Sol Stone, Jerry Bergman and Frank Garcia. He was also mentored by Ed Balducci  and was befriended by Dai Vernon, Slydini, Cliff Green,and Charlie Miller.

** A full biography appears in the  September 1993  M-U-M  magazine.