James Randi (born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge, August 7, 1928) is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known for his challenges to paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Randi began his career as a magician named The Amazing Randi, but after retiring at age 60, he was able to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls "woo-woo."
Although often referred to as a "debunker," Randi dislikes the term's connotations and prefers to describe himself as an "investigator." He has written about the paranormal, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit! The JREF sponsors the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge offering a prize of US$1,000,000 to eligible applicants who can demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event under test conditions agreed to by both parties.
James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world's most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.
Randi has pursued "psychic" spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated homeopathic water "with a memory," and generally been a thorn in the sides of those who try to pull the wool over the public's eyes in the name of the supernatural.
He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1986, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Humanist Association in 2012, and a Lifetime Fellowship from his peers at the Academy of Magical Arts.
On October 19, 1993, the PBS-TV "NOVA" program broadcast a one-hour special dealing with Randi's life work, particularly with his investigations of Uri Geller and various occult and healing claims being made by scientists in Russia.
He is the author of numerous books, including The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim-Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. His lectures and television appearances have delighted — and vexed — audiences around the world.
In 1996, The James Randi Education Foundation was established to further Randi's work. Randi's long-standing challenge to psychics now stands as a $1,000,000 prize administered by the Foundation. It remains unclaimed.
James "The Amazing" Randi is a former Las Vegas stage magician and a scientific skeptic perhaps best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. He is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF).
The foundation sponsors a challenge offering a prize of US $1,000,000 to anyone who can demonstrate evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or occult power or event. The prize has yet to be claimed. No one has ever produced any actual evidence for faith-healing, telepaths, psionics, dowsing, precognative psychic friends with astral bodies, past life remembrance, or spectral manifestations of any kind.
In 1987 he exposed the Peter Popoff ministry for faking their faith healing claims. The resulting scandal drove Popoff into bankruptcy.
He is also claimed as an enthusiastic member of the Brights Movement. Randi has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1986.