James Randi

Alternate:
James Randi died in the early 2000's

Current:
James Randi died in 2020

When did James Randi die?

James Randi was perhaps the world's best known paranormal sceptic.

He was famous for his stage shows, TED talks, talk show appearances and perhaps most of all his $1m prize fund which he openly awarded to anyone who could prove a paranormal phenomenon. It was never claimed.

He started out as a regular magician, and was still doing the odd trick right up until his death, and it's that which is what;s causing some confusion. Many remember him dying in the early 2000s and were very surprised to hear he actually passed on in October 2020.

No doubt Randi himself would have found himself being the subject of this confusion greatly amusing, There's no record of what he thought about the Mandela Effect when he was alive, but it's not too difficult for people to figure out what it would have been.

Who will debunk the crackpots now?

Randi was 92 when he died.

He was the scourge on many a charlatan, not least of which was Uri Geller, the fake spoon bender, who Tweeted "How sad that Randi died with hatred in his soul." when he died. A brilliant magician himself, it was perhaps because of this experience that he could give the general public such an intimate insight into how easily they could be, and were being, manipulated. His crusade went beyond mere exposure for entertainments sake, however. He saw much of it as exploitation, in particular those who professed to be able to communicate with the dead.

His targets were most often those who were making money from their deception. Along with the fake mediums, this included homeopathy, where he famously drank what they claimed would have been a poisonous level of whatever substance they were pushing at the time on stage. Every time.

His famous $1m prize for the proof of any paranormal activity is unclaimed and lives on after his death - the perfect epitaph.