Harry Lorayne

Harry Lorayne …  the ‘Yoda’ of Memory Training

Harry Lorayne

Harry Lorayne, the ‘Yoda’ of memory training

Harry Lorayne is a memory phenomenon, a living legend, simple as that. When he’s not using his memory systems his memory is no better than yours or mine (that’s in his own words!), but he has a trained memory, and that makes all the difference. Put him in a situation where he needs to use his memory and you will be amazed at the transformation. He can be introduced to an audience of up to 500 people and be ready, at a moment’s notice, to reel off the full name of any one of them.

Harry Lorayne, the man who was called “The Yoda of Memory Training” by Time magazine, had been studying memory and performing in front of audiences for way over sixty years. In fact, he had his own television show in the early 1950s! He’s in his eighties now and most (if not all) of the memory performers and magic acts would admit that they owe most of what they’ve learned over the years to Harry Lorayne.

Magic acts?

Yes, he’s a magician too, in case you weren’t aware of it! And phenomenally good at close-up card magic, as a matter of fact, and revered by his peers as a great innovator. Over the years he hasn’t just performed magic, he’s written dozens of books on the subject, many of them detailing the very tricks he’s invented.

His magic books include:
Best of Friends, Harry Lorayne’s Special Effects, The Magic Book, Close-up Card Magic, My Favourite Card Tricks, and Deck-Sterity.

From Magic to Memory

To go back to the start, Harry had been performing table magic in a club, going from one table to the next, performing close up card tricks, while still a young man. A well known actor at the time, Victor Jory, had seen him perform over a period of several weeks, and was very impressed. This particular evening, Harry was more or less out of tricks that Jory hadn’t seen, so he did a memory trick for him.

He memorised the entire shuffled deck and asked him what was his favourite poker hand. Jory told him it was a royal flush. What suit, Harry asked. Jory told him spades. Harry gave him five numbers, and told him to turn those cards over. Jory counted through the pack, selecting the five numbers Harry had reeled off. Needless to say, he was left holding a royal flush, in spades! Jory raved over this and went on and on, loudly, about how amazing this was, till the whole place was up and watching. Then and there, Harry decided he should start concentrating more on memory tricks than card tricks. Jack Jacker

Harry Lorayne has published numerous books and courses over the years, detailing all the techniques and memory tricks he’s invented, and showing people that they do indeed have an amazing memory. He’s devoted himself to teaching the world how to increase memory capability. He’s been busy with the corporate world too, teaching memory techniques to the personnel at companies such as General Motors Corp., Exxon, The Bendix Corp., NASA Headquarters, A.C. Neilsen Company, IBM, Texas Instruments, Inc., Prudential Insurance Co. of America, McDonnell Douglas Corp., Wang Laboratories, Inc., Boeing, Bendix Corp., The Singer Co., Phelps Dodge Corp., and many more. Not bad for someone who’s dyslexic, and only started to study memory techniques to get better grades in school in order to stop his dad punishing him!

Here’s a quote by Harry himself:

“I have studied, practiced, applied, invented, sophisticated, manipulated, taught, demonstrated, written about, lectured on, conducted seminars on, memory training, memory improvement techniques for well over half a century. My books are the ONLY ones on the subject of memory training to EVER appear on bestseller lists – one of them (The Memory Book) for over 50 weeks at top of the New York Times list. My books have been Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Guild, and just about all other book club, selections.”

Not shy to reel off some more of his achievements (from memory, I’m sure!), he adds:

“Featured articles about (and by) me, and my memory techniques, have appeared in many in-flight airline magazines and in most large-circulation magazines, including Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Vogue, Christian Science Monitor, Gentleman’s Quarterly, Fortune, Nation’s Business, Forbes, U.S. and World Report, and countless others. I’ve even been the answer to crossword puzzle clues (“World renowned memory training specialist” – seven letters) and been featured in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.”

He’s influenced the world

Secrets of Mind Power

Secrets of Mind Power, a best seller for decades.

If there’s one single person who’s influenced me more in terms of memory than anyone else, it has to be Harry Lorayne. One of his books, Secrets of Mind Power, was the first memory book I ever bought, and it made a huge impression on me. Not only me, of course …

Bob Dylan is on record as saying that he read Harry Lorayne’s book, Secrets of Mind Power, shortly before his musical breakthrough, after finding it in the book collection of a friend.

Among numerous other testimonials, these are just a few:

“I had a stroke at 75 and feared the loss of my memory. But thanks to Harry Lorayne’s Memory Power system, my memory is better today than it ever was before. In fact, it’s so good that I give memory demonstrations before my Toastmasters Club, and I also teach Harry’s systems to other senior citizens. I also do telephone work and I have to return calls. But because of this stroke, I can’t write. But I can remember all those names and numbers and anything else that I want to remember thanks to Harry’s system. God bless you, Harry.”Bob Norland, 80-year old Stroke Victim

“Harry Lorayne’s genius is not to be outdone.”Money Line$ Magazine

As a result of an explosion I became totally blind and lost all ten fingers. I could no longer rely on written notes or even Braille. By using Harry’s memory training techniques I graduated from law school—passed the Texas bar exam. – Dax Cowart, Lawyer/Public Speaker

The Yoda of Memory Training Time Magazine

As a Harvard grad and former U.S. Air Force officer, I’ve known many lousy teachers. But this course is fantastic and so is the teacher. It will make me hundreds of thousands of dollars. I recommend it unconditionally.Brian P.T. Blake

I was so impressed by Harry Lorayne’s memory techniques that I had him teach our salesmen. It was worth every penny we spent. The lessons have been invaluable to us, and I recommend Harry Lorayne’s systems without qualification…” – Alan Greenberg, CEO, Bear Stearns & Co.

and Harry’s personal favourite:

I was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam from September 26,1966, until March 4, 1973. Shortly before I was shot down and captured, I learned your memory improvement system. The prisoners of war had no reading or writing material, so we relied solely on memory for sanity, entertainment, names of other POW’s, military directives and orders from the senior ranking officer. During the first few months of captivity, while flat on my back in a cast, I applied your systems for my own benefit, and found that it indeed worked! I then taught it to hundreds of my fellow POW’s over the next six years. Eventually it was spread throughout the camp and was an invaluable aid to all of us. Academic classes were conducted by POW’s entirely from memory and with no teaching aids. We applied your systems and learned literally thousands of foreign words, poems, speeches, mathematics, electronics, classical music, philosophy, biology – the list is endless. This opened new worlds of mental activity which was so important to us since we were isolated from the world for such a long period of time. I am deeply indebted to you for your memory training techniques and for sharing your knowledge with the public…” – Arthur T. Ballard, Jr. USAF, Lt. Colonel

How can I add to that, the ultimate testimonial? Except to say, if your aim is to learn how to increase memory, read his books … listen to his audio courses … this man virtually invented modern memory training, so this is the man you need to be listening to.

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