Bill Brewe – A Mentor Honored

Apr13 coverThe doorbell rings out a mystical tune, and “this secret door opens.” A balding, wise, yet youthful man appears and with a wave of a magic wand, he changes your life forever! So many stepped through that door and so many lives were impacted by one of the most caring, gifted, and knowledgeable men in the history of magic, William H. Brewe.

William H. “Bill” Brewe was born on December 26, 1932, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He saw the Thurston show when he was two-and-a-half years old, and he had to be taken from the theater when he raised a fuss because he was worried about the woman in the Sawing illusion.

In the third grade, Bill received a cardboard magic set, and the bug bit. One of his first books was Blackstone’s Modern Card Tricks and Secrets of Magic. He spent a few years learning the methods for building magic apparatus, and he became adept at it.

In the ninth grade Bill learned of Abbott’s Magic Company; he soon ordered catalogs from all the major dealers. In 1949 Neil Sweet came off the road as an assistant with the Blackstone show and opened a magic shop in Cincinnati. Bill was in his junior year in high school; Sweet’s shop was his first introduction to a live dealer. He and several other boys met there every day after school. At the age of seventeen, he performed a magic act (using five assistants) in the Walnut Hills High School annual musical variety show.


In 1951, Bill graduated cum laude from high school and he entered the University of Cincinnati, where he majored in classics. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa and with High Honors in Classics in 1955, Bill entered the University of Cincinnati College of Law and received his doctorate in jurisprudence three years later. After briefly entering private practice, Bill went to work for the City of Cincinnati Law Department. He served in both the criminal and civil divisions from 1959 to 1974 and attained the position of Second Assistant City Solicitor – the number three man in the city’s legal offices.

Read their tributes and look at some fascinating photos in this month’s M-U-M by Clicking HERE.

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