Late Pittsburgh-area magician to be honored in Scott Township magic show | New

For decades as a magician, Dick Recktenwald pulled quite a few rabbits out of a hat.

They weren’t live bunnies, but sponge bunnies. Yet they were rabbits.

“It’s always been a crowd pleaser,” according to his son, Mark Recktenwald. Young Recktenwald accompanied his father when he put on magic shows at Cub Scout banquets, nursing homes, lodges, birthday parties, family picnics, and other events.

“He never charged much,” Mark Recktenwald said. “He liked to see the reaction he would get. He really liked playing.

Dick Recktenwald continued to perform magic shows until shortly before his death at age 80 in 2020.

A driver for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Recktenwald became fascinated with magic as a teenager. Throughout his life he amassed a massive collection of artifacts related to the magician’s craft – cards, dice, posters, books on how to perform some of the most breathtaking feats, and much more.

Upon his death, Recktenwald’s family decided to give their all to the Pittsburgh branch of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

To mark the legacy, fellow Recktenwald magicians will pay their respects in “The Thirteenth Ring: A Magic Show for Kids,” staged for the Scott Township Public Library on Saturday, October 1 at 2 p.m. The show promises to include some of Recktenwald’s favorite feats, using some of his props.

“Dick had a very good collection of books and DVDs,” said Dan Kamin, president of the Pittsburgh International Brotherhood of Magicians. There is no physical location to store it, so the collection will be distributed among members of the organization, he added.

“Whoever wants to can use it,” Kamin explained.

Mark Recktenwald said it made sense to let the International Brotherhood of Magicians have all the items because “I wanted them to go to a good house,” he said. “The club was such a big part of his life.”

And even though the show at the library is aimed at children, the magic can be, well, magic, for anyone of any age, according to Kamin.

“Magic turns everyone into children again,” he said. “I always get that way when I watch it. The air begins to shimmer because anything seems possible.

Admission is free but seating is limited, so it is advisable to arrive early. For more information, go online to

Brian L. Hartfield