Barry Gibbs Recalls Mike Ellis

Mike Ellis 1917-2008

Contributing Editor Barry Gibbs kindly granted Inside Magic permission to publish his memorial for Mike Ellis, who passed away on October 2, 2008.  Mr. Ellis was certainly an influence on our love for Magic and perhaps yours.  He will truly be missed.

I was saddened today to discover that Mike had passed away, yet happy to remember that I was his “magic teacher” that started him on his way to another adventure in his life.

Yes, it was my “Adult Education” class that Mike first attended in Boynton Beach, Florida. I sponsored Mike into IBM Ring #117, of which I am a past President. Today IBM Ring 117 is the Mike Ellis Ring.

Mike was a wonderful, very modest man. I knew him for almost a year, before I became aware of his theatrical background, not that he told me, but I discovered it when he booked me to perform at a private party in his home.

I will never forget walking into his home and seeing all the autographed photographs to Mike, from any star you could think of. It was only after that occasion Mike explained his background to me. How modest could you be?

I could write a book about Mike, but I know that those of you who ever had an opportunity to meet him, know the wonderful man he was and his absolute love of magic

If I know Mike, he has restored that broken wand by now and probably starting a “magic class” for the Angels.

May GOD rest your soul Mike until we meet again.

You can read more at the IBM’s web site hereThe Philadelphia Daily News had a very nice obituary highlighting Mr. Ellis’ theatrical history here.

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One thought on “Barry Gibbs Recalls Mike Ellis”

  1. Barry,

    Last Thursday, I returned home to West Palm Beach. I attended the 2019 Magic Convention in Vegas at the ORLEANS. It was a great show. When they took my Picture for my identification lanyard, they asked me if anyone person contributed my efforts in Magic. On the 4″ x 3 ” picture was a small rectangle in the bottom corner giving credit and thanks to any one person. I put MIKE ELLIS, DELRAY BCH FL.

    Barry, I was one of the other students, along with Mike, in your class in Boynton Beach, way back a long time ago. Today, I did some searching for Mike Ellis. I have the linking Ring magazine with his picture on the front cover as the President of I. B. M.
    What an honor – and well deserved. I had forgotten your name but, not you. So, through my research, I found you and wanted to say thanks for starting me in my wonderful world of magic. I had been a member of ring 117 for many years until my hours were change to an early morning shift (in bed @ 4 pm) at the Post Office.

    I wanted to thank you for your inspiration. I know that you are very proud because you were the spark that started the Grand Fire of Mike’s stupendous career in Magic.

    Dennis John O’Brien

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