(20th July 1869 - 13th April 1936)
Born in Columbus, Ohio. He became one of the most famous 20th century magicians. Thurston's biggest break was being chosen as "successor" to Harry Kellar, Dean of American Magicians. Thurston weathered the changing tastes and economic conditions of the 1920's into his retirement in the mid-1930's. His commitment to the finest advertising pieces has left a legacy of amazing high-quality posters chronicling his entire career, as well as custom-minted coins, clever dream interpretation books and advertising tie-ins. Thurston also used scaling cards, custom printed playing cards with publicity photos and advertising; he would "scale", or throw, the cards with impressive skill to specific members of the audience, even some in the balcony or at the back of the theater. Of course, these cards would be kept as souvenirs, and some still exist today. See biography, The World's Greatest Magician, by Rev. Bob Olson (1981).
Thurston also identifies himself as the inventor of the Si Stebbins stack in his book on Card Tricks. According to him Si only helped with suggestions and ideas.