MacArthur Fellows Program

James Randi

Educator | Class of 1986

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
58 at time of award
Published August 1, 1986

About James' Work

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.

Select News Coverage of James Randi
October 28, 2020
"The Amazing Randi (Just Don't Call Him a Magician)"
James Randi , 1986 MacArthur Fellow
October 22, 2020
"James Randi, Dazzling Magician and Skeptic, Dies at 92"
Associated Press
James Randi , 1986 MacArthur Fellow
October 21, 2020
"James Randi, Magician Who Debunked Paranormal Claims, Dies at 92"
The New York Times
James Randi , 1986 MacArthur Fellow
March 29, 2016
"The Amazing Randi: Amazing Not Supernatural"
Sun Sentinel
James Randi , 1986 MacArthur Fellow
March 19, 2015
"How the Amazing Randi Exposes Fake Psychics"
San Francisco Chronicle
James Randi , 1986 MacArthur Fellow
March 19, 2015
"‘Honest Liar’ Casts a Spell"
The Boston Globe
James Randi , 1986 MacArthur Fellow
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