The world-renowned Eugene Burger, known for his close-up magic and mentalist skills, has died at the age of 78.

The news originally broke via The International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 130’s Facebook Page, and his website has since been updated with the following statement: 

It is with heavy hearts that we, friends of Eugene Burger, inform you that Eugene has passed away in Chicago at the age of 78. Please join us in remembering and celebrating Eugene, a rare and wonderful person who has meant so much to us and to magicians all over the world.

Eugene enjoyed a long, healthy life, but was very recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Even so, his death today came more quickly than expected, and we are deeply shocked and saddened by his loss.

We know that in the days, weeks, and months ahead, countless things will be written and said about Eugene, and we will share more information, too. But for now we want to tell you that Eugene embraced his situation with great clarity, humor, and peace of mind. As he said one day, "Now I am on the way to the ultimate capital M Mystery of life." 

Please join us in remembering and celebrating Eugene, a rare and wonderful person who has meant so much to us and to magicians all over the world.

Born in 1939, Eugene Burger leaves behind a legacy of nearly four decades of illusions, and his work has influenced countless magicians and performers all over the world, many of whom have expressed their condolences via Twitter.

Burger wasn’t just a magician; he also held degrees in Philosophy and Divinity from Yale University. He wrote several books on bizarre magic such as Strange Ceremonies, taught courses on comparative religion and philosophy, and frequently taught at the McBride Magic & Mystery School in Las Vegas.

We at Genii Online offer our condolences to Burger’s friends and loved ones. In celebration of all he gave to the world of magic, we leave you with a video showcasing his impressive talents and inimitable charisma:

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