Simon Aronson was a magician and mentalist who was skilled at close-up card tricks and performed a two-person mind reading act with his wife, Virginia.
He was also an attorney, practicing real estate law for years with the downtown Chicago firm then known as Lord Bissell & Brook. He retired from the law in his mid-50s to focus on magic and writing books about magic.
“He was a really good lawyer, but what he really loved was magic,” said his wife, known as Ginny.
“We would trade ideas,” said David Solomon. “As far as being a creator and inventor (of tricks), Simon was a really smart, intellectual, sophisticated handler of playing cards.
“He was revered because of the ideas he invented — a lot of them had to do with close-up card tricks,” Solomon said.
Aronson, 76, died Dec. 10 in St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago. His wife said the cause of death is not known. The couple lived in Lincoln Park since 1976.
He was born in 1943 and grew up in Rye, New York. He began performing as an 8-year old, telling the Tribune in 2003 that he started with a Mandrake the Magician magic set.
He came to Chicago in the early 1960s to study for the first of three degrees from the University of Chicago, and was performing magic to pay his way through school in the late 1960s. It was at this time that he met Ed Marlo, whom Solomon said was a "revered card man from Chicago.”
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