This special merit award is presented to performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding significance to the field of magic.
John & Tammy Calvert
Lifetime Performance Recognition Award Winners, 2000
John Calvert is a magician’s magician and Tammy is a magician’s dream. He was the first magician to perform on Broadway and in Las Vegas. His world tour holds the record for the longest-running world touring stage show in theatrical history. He was not simply a magician, however. He was and is a world-traveling performer of the first order. The John performed in more than 40 feature films.
“John Calvert is a great inspiration and positive role model for all ages.”Samuel Patrick Smith
Executive Editor The Linking Ring
Lee & Helene Grabel
Lifetime Performance Recognition Award Winners, 2004
He is a magician and illusionist of worldwide reputation. He stands as a living legend in magic and is recognized by many as the last of the grand masters in the tradition of Herrmann, Kellar, Thurston and Dante. He was the man upon whom Dante, just prior to his death, bestowed the title to continue his magnificent show. Helen, known as “the lovely Helene,” would alternately blast out of a cannon, disappear in a smoking cauldron, fly through hoops or get sawed in half, all with an enthusiastic smile on her face. Lee garnered respect from all of his magician peers and, in 1954, was chosen as the successor to Dante in the Royal Dynasty of Magicians. He also gained recognition from his peers who bestowed upon him a gold medallion proclaiming Grabel as “America’s Greatest Magician.” Grabel retired from magic in 1959 to raise his family and has since been involved in managing his investments made from his career as an illusionist. Constantly on the lookout for a successor to the Royal Dynasty’s lineage, Grabel finally recognized Lance Burton as his legitimate successor in 1994, almost 34 years after retiring from magic himself.
“I was born a magician.”Lee Grabel
Bill & Ruth Pitts
Lifetime Performance Recognition Award Winners, 2007
Bill Pitts served as IBM President in 1978-1979; and was on the the cover of “The Linking Ring” Aug. 1973, July 1978 and Sep. 1978. IBM Ring No. 75 in Fort Smith, Arkansas is named after Bill. In 2001, Bill received IBM Order of Merlin Excelsior (60 Consecutive Years). Ruth was an active member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) and the Society of American Magicians (SAM), and was an avid bowler and talented artist.