James "Mark" Wilson (April 11, 1929 – January 19, 2021) was an American magician, actor and marketing entrepreneur who had a deep and longlasting impact on magic performance as we know it today.
As a teenager, he worked behind the counter at Douglas Magic Land in Dallas, Texas.
He went on to earn a business degree and then an M.B.A. in Marketing, but he never forgot his passion for magic.
Directly after graduation from college, Mark pitched an idea for a magic show to a local TV station.
In early television, all programs were produced by independent production companies and then sold to the networks or stations.
Much of the production costs were covered by a corporate sponsor in return for in-program advertising.
After that first program, Time for Magic, had aired for several years, Mark approached Kellogg's to sponsor a bigger budget program, The Magic Land of Allkazam".
The program ran from 1960 through 1965, first on CBS and then ABC.
Each week, Mark would present a new illusion, something with Kellgg's brandng on it.
When the show ended in 1965, Mark went on to build an amazing marketing production company, using magic as the entertainment factor to promote corporate products.
For the 1964-65 World's Fair, Mark created the General Cigar Hall Of Magic that featured eye-catching real smoke rings being puffed out of the top of the building.
Mark created many a number of characters for top companies, like the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the Burger King.
And Mark also had a production company that offered packaged magic shows for park attractions.
If all that is not enough, Mark also wrote one of the most popular and useful manuals of magic, The Mark Wilson Complete Course In Magic.
Mark Wilson was well know for his kind and gentle spirit, a brilliant mind who was quick to encourage and support other magicians.
Though he lived a long life, it is never enough time.
Magic Land of Allakazam - Show#51- Cub Scout To Bunny