William Ellsworth Robinson (1861-1918 ) created the character "Chung Ling Soo", and brilliantly played the role of an Oriental conjuror.

While Robinson was not well-known as an author, pictured with him is his treastise on "The Art of Magic", published by Chicago magic dealer and inventor August Roterberg in Roterberg's book "The Modern Wizard".

 

This relatively scarce volume sold for the then princely sum of $1 in the early 1900's. Robinson signs his essay "W. E. Robinson, Original Man of Mystery."

 

Robinson was shot on stage performing the infamous "bullet-catching trick", and died the following day. His death contributed to the compelling history of both practicality and superstition that has led numerous famed magicians to shy away from ever performing that effect. Even Houdini, who undertook seemingly death-defying defeats, listened to the counsel of Harry Kellar, and refrained from performing the bullet-catching effect.