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David Blaine's Biography

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David Blaine was born in Brooklyn on April 4, 1972.

His mother was a Russian Jew, who brought David up single-handed after his father William Perez, an Italian-Puerto Rican veteran of the Vietnam War, abandoned the family.

When, in November 2006, David Blaine arranged that after spinning inside a gyroscope above New York for nearly three days he would lead 100 underprivileged children chosen by The Salvation Army on a shopping spree, he pointed out that The Salvation Army had provided him with clothing when he was a child.

David Blaine was born with his feet turned in and had to wear braces on his legs. He was also asthmatic.

David Blaine started doing card tricks when he was very young, and in the 1990s he established a reputation for close magic.

David Blaine's mother died of cancer when he was in his late teens.

According to the BBC's profile of David Blaine, he walked into ABC's Manhattan office in 1997 and performed card tricks and then levitated in the boardroom to secure the commission of the ABC special, David Blaine: Street Magic.

It was magic with a difference in terms of its performer, the filming style and the types of illusions and it refreshed the magic genre.

Blaine can be amusing about other practitioners, for example, The Guardian reports how he told the Oxford Union:

"Derren Brown is a great guy but I did say to him, 'Why don't you use a real gun and a real bullet and just fire it at your hand so that you have a one in six chance of getting your hand blown off but you don't die?'"

Blaine has stood on an 80 foot pole in Manhattan for 34 hours, spent 61 hours encased in a block of ice, been buried underground in a coffin for a week, and spent 44 days suspended in a glass box with no food over the Thames (during which David Blaine lost almost 30% of his body weight and suffered from malnutrition).

Blaine's feats have been documented in television programmes like David Blaine: Above the Below, David Blaine: Vertigo, David Blaine: Fearless, and David Blaine: Frozen in Time.

Blaine has a number of tattoos including Primo Levi's concentration-camp number on his left arm and a J over his heart after going out with the model Josie Maran.

In May 2006, David Blaine failed to break the world record for holding one's breath under water. Blaine spent seven minutes and eight seconds holding his breath before being rescued - it was roughly two minutes short of the record. The record attempt was the finale after David Blaine had spent seven days under water in New York receiving food and air through tubes. n April 2008, David Blaine set a world record by holding his breath underwater for 17 minutes and four seconds. Blaine performed the feat on Oprah Winfrey's TV show.

In September 2008, David Blaine attempted to hang upside down for almost three days. He was hoisted by his heels over the Wollmann ice rink in New York on 22 September.

In 2011, David Blaine and his then fiancée, Alizee Guinochet had a baby girl. David and Alizee subsequently broke up.

In 2013 and 2016, he performed for celebrities for ABC specials entitled, Real or Magic and Beyond Magic.

In 2020, he had an ABC special David Blaine: The Magic Way.

In September 2020, David Blaine's live stunt Ascension, in which he flew over the Arizona desert using helium balloons, became the most-watched YouTube Original Live Event.

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