Magician Le Roy Bequeaths Stock of Tricks
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The Amazing Master Miller
Unusual bequest sets up a 16-year-old Georgia schoolboy in the magic business
Life Magazine, March 8, 1954
Until he had reached the age of 11, Richard Miller III did just about the same things as the other boys in suburban Hapeville, Georgia. Then his father brought home a $2 magic set. Instead of promptly losing the pieces, Richard became adept at little stunts of legerdemain. The next year, when Le Roy Loewner, a professional magician, came through on tour, Richard's father not only got tickets for the performance but arranged an introduction as well. The boy and the magician became friends, and last year when Loewner died he bequeathed Richard his entire stock of tricks.
Today at 16 Richard is the youngest full-fledged member of the Atlanta Magicians' Club and the only high school boy in Hapeville who can make flowers bloom in two minutes, conjure up a canary and successfully stab a young girl with a dozen swords and permit her to emerge alive and smiling. He is in such demand as a performer that he earns as much as $110 a night, which in time will enable him to go to college and learn a useful profession.
Richard "Dick" Miller sent me a few photographs from the same period as above. Also a couple of new photographs of him and of him and his wife Gaby (originally from Germany where he lived for 30 years) in Canton, Georgia taken in July 2014.
Dick says, "I am glad we finally linked up. The Hapeville, Georgia Lion’s Club sponsored Le Roy for an evening performance in the Hapeville High School off campus gym and auditorium. My father, a local clothing store owner, introduced me to Le Roy before the eight o'clock showtime. My enthusiasm was high was I and received a Gilbert's magic set for Christmas. Le Roy, who emitted kindness, gave me a few tricks and asked me to come back after the performance, which I did. He gave me more tricks and then asked my father to bring me by before school the next morning. He gave me more tricks and invited us to his lodge. That summer on a trip to New York City my parents and I stopped by the lodge and Le Roy gave me still more tricks and invited us to visit the next summer. We did so and in addition to magic were treated to fly fishing for trout in the nearby mountain stream. Le Roy informed me that in his will he had named me beneficiary of his magic show. I and my family were humbled by this unusually kind gesture. I assumed and hoped that any inheritance would be long in the future. I was shocked and deeply saddened the following January to receive a letter from Le Roy's brother that Le Roy had passed away. The letter asked that we arrange to come to Harrisonburg to pack and ship the inheritance."