James Randi, the magician and skeptic, is dead at 92. Randi was famous for televised debunkings of people claiming telekinetic and telepathic powers, and became synonymous with a million-dollar offer posed to those willing to submit to scientific tests. No-one ever took the money home.
The James Randi Educational Foundation announced his death in a brief note on its website late Thurdsay. [via BBS]
We are very sad to say that James Randi passed away yesterday, due to age-related causes.
He had an Amazing life. We will miss him.
Please respect Deyvi Peña's privacy during this difficult time.
Here's a classic televised confrontation, with claimed psychic James Hydrick:
The New York Times published an extensive obituary today.
At once elfin and Mephistophelian, with a bushy white beard and piercing eyes, Mr. Randi — known professionally as the Amazing Randi — was a father of the modern skeptical movement. Much as the biologist and author Thomas Henry Huxley had done in the late 19th century (though with markedly more pizazz), he made it his mission to bring the world of scientific rationalism to laypeople.
What roiled his blood, and was the driving impetus of his existence, Mr. Randi often said, was pseudoscience, in all its immoral irrationality.
"People who are stealing money from the public, cheating them and misinforming them — that's the kind of thing that I've been fighting all my life," he said in the 2014 documentary "An Honest Liar," directed by Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein. "Magicians are the most honest people in the world: They tell you they're going to fool you, and then they do it."