The magic community is in a state of mourning with the passing of Darwin Ortiz on October 13, 2023. Born in 1948 in New York City, Ortiz's fascination with card tricks propelled him from NYU Law School to the heart of magic and gambling. His journey from a blackjack player to a memory school instructor, and a close confidante of magic stalwarts like David Roth and Derek Dingle, paints a rich narrative of relentless pursuit and boundless curiosity.
Ortiz's contributions extend beyond mesmerizing performances. He was a prolific author, penning down seminal works like "Strong Magic" and "Designing Miracles," which dissected the art and science of magic, earning accolades from peers and shaping the discourse in magical theory. His critique and insights into the construction and presentation of magic have become an inspiration for both neophyte and seasoned magicians.
His book "Strong Magic," although facing initial backlash from major US magic trade publications, later soared in popularity, becoming an indispensable part of a magician's library. His other works also garnered acclaim, delving into the intricacies of card manipulation, gambling scams, and the essence of creating the 'impossible' in magic.
His consulting tenure with numerous casinos across the globe and regular presentations at the World Gaming Congress showcased his profound understanding of gambling, solidifying his reputation as a foremost authority in the field.
Ortiz's witty and thought-provoking quotes reflect his profound understanding and love for magic. His remark, “The fact that a trick fooled you is not enough reason to perform it,” resonates with magicians, urging them to seek deeper meaning in their craft.
Darwin Ortiz fought a valiant battle against Parkinson's disease, displaying a resilience that mirrored his approach to magic - meticulous, graceful, and undeterred. His demise leaves a void in the magic community, yet his legacy continues to spark the imagination of aspiring magicians.
His life is a testament to the boundless possibilities magic holds, a journey from the bustling streets of New York City to the heart of the global magic and gambling communities. Darwin Ortiz's life story is not merely a tale of a magician but a narrative of passion, intellect, and the ceaseless pursuit of wonder. His teachings, writings, and performances will continue to inspire and challenge magicians, ensuring his indelible mark on the magic community endures.