David Blaine is a modern-day Houdini, having made a name for himself performing high-profile feats of endurance, but also close-up and street magic. Blaine was born and raised in Brooklyn, and wanted to become a magician from an early age. In 1997, his first special – David Blaine: Street Magic – aired on ABC and attracted a lot of attention because of Blaine’s close-up, personal style of trickery. In 1999, Blaine embarked on his first big feat of endurance, locking himself in an airtight plastic box underneath a 30ton water tank for seven days, and in 2000 he stood encased in a massive block of ice for 63 hours. In 2002, he stood on a 100-foot pillar in Bryant Park, New York City for 35 hours before jumping onto a 12-foot deep landing platform made of cardboard boxes, suffering a mild concussion in the process. Blaine would continue to perform these large, public endurance tests from 2002-2008, hanging in a plexiglass box for 44 days, submerging himself underwater using tubes for air and nutrition, and shackling himself to a giant gyroscope. But honestly, for all that his big-scale feats of endurance are impressive, I’ll always love his close-up material first and foremost. David Blaine turns 39 today.