Houdini was an amazing individual!
The collected works of legendary magician Harry Houdini are now available online, courtesy of Google Books.

Throughout his life, Harry Houdini claimed that he was born April 6, 1874 in Appleton, Wisconsin. In fact, he was born with the name Ehrich Weisz on March 24, 1874, in Budapest, Hungary…

 His father was Mayer Samuel Weisz, a religious teacher, whose first wife had died in childbirth. Ehrich was a child of his second wife, Cecilia Steiner. How many children the couple had is unclear, although six of their children survived to adulthood. Hoping for a better life for his family, Mayer emigrated to America and changed the spelling of his last name to Weiss. Through a friend, he gained a job serving as a rabbi to a small Jewish congregation in Appleton, with an annual salary of $750. His family is believed to have followed him to America in 1876, when Ehrich was a toddler. Stories of Ehrich performing magic and escape tricks while in Appleton have never been verified. His mother claimed that as a child he learned to open locked cabinets to get at pies and sweets she had baked, but the story may be more legend than fact.

– above excerpt from HERE

Google Books

More about Harry Houdini

Books now available online

(via Boing Boing)