Dr. Edwin A. Dawes, 1925-2023
We have lost one of the finest. On March 3, 2023, Dr. Edwin A. Dawes, with his two sons, Adrian and Michael, at his side, quietly slipped away at the age of 97, and was reunited with his beloved wife, Amy.
Dr. Dawes—born July 6, 1925, in Goole, Yorkshire—was a scholar, historian, writer, professor and educator; he was also a magician, magic collector, researcher, lecturer, and, indeed, a mentor to many. His commitment and passion to collating and sharing his discoveries was extraordinary.
Dr. Dawes was a biochemist by profession, magician and magic historian by avocation—or, as the title of one of his lectures aptly describes, “A Professor in two Worlds.” As a biochemist, he authored textbooks and was editor-in-chief of various European scientific journals. In 1963, he established the Biochemistry Department at the University of Hull where he led its research into bioplastics. He served as Hull University’s Dean of Science and also as Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He was granted emeritus status in 1990, and awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science by the university in 1992.
As a magician, he was an internationally recognized authority on the history of magic. He was president of the Hull Magicians’ Circle, Gold Medalist and Gold Star Member of the Inner Magic Circle and was the official historian of The Magic Circle. He was Honorary Life President of the Scottish Association of Magicians (SAMS) and The Scottish Conjurers’ Association (SCA) and served, at various times, as editor of their respective magic magazines.
Dr. Dawes—Eddie—was also a great friend, generous with his knowledge and deeply supportive to all who sought his insight and assistance. A true inspiration to us all. After a lifetime devoted to learning and to sharing, may he now be at rest and at peace.
Images are courtesy of the Dawes family collection.
Dr. Dawes was also an Allan Slaight Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in 2018. More of his extraordinary contributions to magic and its history can be found in this presentation video.