MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 1986

James Randi


Age: 58

Published August 1, 1986

James Randi is an investigator of the paranormal.

Randi uses his knowledge of scientific method and his understanding of the techniques of conjuring to debunk paranormal claims.  Through his exposés, he has alerted the public to the danger of treatment from psychic surgeons, faith healers, and quacks.  Randi is the author of Flim-Flam!: The Truth about Unicorns, Parapsychology, and Other Delusions (1980), Testing Yourself for ESP (1981), The Truth about Uri Geller (1982), The Faith Healers (1988), The Mask of Nostradamus (1990), and The Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural(1995).  He is also the co-author of Houdini: His Life and Art (1978).

Randi is a founding member of the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.  In 1996 he established the James Randi Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization which funds and conducts basic research on parapsychology and distributes information on occult, supernatural, and paranormal claims.  As a magician, he has performed at the White House and on television in Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the United States.

Randi was Regents Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles (1984).

Last updated January 1, 2005.

James Randi In the Media

"‘An Honest Liar’ Review: The Truth Will Set You Free"

The Wall Street Journal
James Randi , 1986 MacArthur Fellow
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"The Unbelievable Skepticism of the Amazing Randi"

The New York Times
James Randi , 1986 MacArthur Fellow
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"At 86, James Randi Is Still Amazing"

Miami Herald
James Randi , 1986 MacArthur Fellow
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About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

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