Thomas Solomon

Last updated
Thomas Solomon
Born1969 (age 4950)

Thomas Solomon (born 1969 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American escape artist and magician.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of more than 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Escapology practice of escaping from restraints

Escapology is the practice of escaping from restraints or other traps. Escapologists escape from handcuffs, straitjackets, cages, coffins, steel boxes, barrels, bags, burning buildings, fish-tanks, and other perils, often in combination.


Early life

As a boy he was fascinated with mechanical devices. Around the age of thirteen, he was apprenticed to a local locksmith in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a summer which led to a fascination with locks and locking devices. Later, when developing an interest in the art of stage magic, he was able to marry his skill at picking locks with those of a magician and to create an act while in his late teens.

Locksmithing is the science and art of making and defeating locks.

Milwaukee Largest city in Wisconsin

Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and the fifth-largest city in the Midwestern United States. The seat of the eponymous county, it is on Lake Michigan's western shore. Ranked by its estimated 2014 population, Milwaukee was the 31st largest city in the United States. The city's estimated population in 2017 was 595,351. Milwaukee is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee metropolitan area which had a population of 2,043,904 in the 2014 census estimate. It is the third-most densely populated metropolitan area in the Midwest, surpassed only by Chicago and Detroit, respectively. Milwaukee is considered a Gamma global city as categorized by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network with a regional GDP of over $105 billion.

Wisconsin A north-central state of the United States of America

Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state by total area and the 20th most populous. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties.

He eventually, focused more on the art of escapology although does still perform magic today. As an escape artist, Thomas Solomon has been profiled in The New York Times. [1] He has performed twice at The White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and later George HW Bush. In 2003, Solomon had his own network television special on CH4 in Great Britain in which he escaped a titanium bank safe underwater, escaped a specially bound plastic restraint hanging from the roof of an S&M Club in London, and a high security prison cell. Later in 2007, he shot a pilot for The History Channel in which he escaped the prison cell of Al Capone, the leg irons of Billy the Kid and the holding cell of Lee Harvey Oswald.

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the U.S..

White House Official residence and workplace of the President of the United States

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. The term "White House" is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers.

Ronald Reagan 40th president of the United States

Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician and film actor who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to his presidency, he was a Hollywood actor and union leader before serving as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975.

Early Twenties and The Great Escape

In Milwaukee, then Chicago, Solomon first presented "The Great Escape," a show combining magic with one escape from a locked chain in which he demonstrated lock-picking. The nightclub, sensing potential asked Solomon to drop the magic and concentrate only on escapes. As a marketing ploy, the nightclub asked participants to bring whatever they wanted to the theatre (handcuffs, locks, and straitjackets) to challenge the magician. Over the course of three years, he suffered numerous injuries but never failed in an escape.

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago) is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

Handcuffs restraint devices

Handcuffs are restraint devices designed to secure an individual's wrists in proximity to each other. They comprise two parts, linked together by a chain, a hinge, or rigid bar. Each half has a rotating arm which engages with a ratchet that prevents it from being opened once closed around a person's wrist. Without the key, the handcuffs cannot be removed, and the handcuffed person cannot move his or her wrists more than a few centimetres or inches apart, making many tasks difficult or impossible. They are frequently used worldwide to prevent suspected criminals from escaping from police custody.


A straitjacket is a garment shaped like a jacket with long sleeves that surpass the tips of the wearer's fingers. Its most typical use is restraining people who may cause harm to themselves or others. Once the wearer slides his or her arms into the sleeves, the person assisting the wearer crosses the sleeves against the chest and ties the ends of the sleeves to the back of the jacket, ensuring the arms are close to the chest with as little movement as possible.

He has performed a variation of this "Challenge Escape Act" at New York City's famed, former club, MK in the flat-iron district.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Founding of Patriotic Performers, USA

Thomas Solomon is co-founder of Patriotic Performers, USA in which he leads a group of performers who donate their time to entertain wounded service members from all branches of the military. Recent engagements have included Walter Reed Army Hospital, Fort Detrick, the US Marine Base in Quantico, Virginia, McGuire Air Force Base, the Wounded Warrior Unit at Fort Dix Army Base and many others. He has received numerous citations, including one from President Barack Obama, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, for his work on behalf of wounded veterans.

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The president of the United States is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center Hospital in D.C., United States

The Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC)—known as Walter Reed General Hospital (WRGH) until 1951—was the U.S. Army's flagship medical center from 1909 to 2011. Located on 113 acres (46 ha) in the District of Columbia, it served more than 150,000 active and retired personnel from all branches of the military. The center was named after Major Walter Reed (1851–1902), an Army physician who led the team that confirmed that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes rather than direct contact.

Fort Detrick military base

Fort Detrick is a United States Army Medical Command installation located in Frederick, Maryland. Historically, Fort Detrick was the center of the U.S. biological weapons program from 1943 to 1969. Since the discontinuation of that program, it has hosted most elements of the United States biological defense program.

Accomplishments and Recent Work

By 2013, Solomon had escaped from more than 5500 pairs of handcuffs of all different types from all times in history. He has performed numerous underwater releases from restraints in the Hudson and East Rivers, Boston Harbor, Potomac River, Mississippi, and numerous others. He won the coveted "World's Greatest Escape Artist" award from the Academy of Magical Arts and Sciences. He performed his award-winning handcuff escape act, escaping the restraints of the Los Angeles Police Department on the televised World Magic Awards in 2000. He has accomplished hundreds of straitjacket releases, most notably an escape from the all-leather straitjacket specifically created to thwart him by Menkes Leather Works. He escaped a tightly bound straitjacket in the pouring rain hanging upside down from a tower crane 150 feet above the street in Portland, Oregon in 2006.

He has performed his award-winning handcuff act (2000 World Magic Awards, PAX Television) at The Roxy, The Magic Castle, Bally's and many others. He has performed aboard ships for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line traveling throughout Bermuda and the Caribbean. In 1988 he entertained President Ronald Reagan at the White House where he escaped the handcuffs of the Uniformed Secret Service. He performed again in 1989 for President George Bush and Vice-President Dan Quayle at the White House. He has performed escapes and magic for major trade show clients, Ford Motor Company, State Farm Insurance , Procter & Gamble, Absolut Vodka, 'Winston/Salem Cigarettes, Compaq Computers, Deutsche Bank, Birdseye Frozen Foods, Black and Decker among others. He starred in the Off-Broadway show, theatre of the Macabre which played three years and more than 1700 performances in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

Recently, Solomon thrilled spectators with an underwater handcuff performance at the New York Aquarium in which members of the New York Police Department locked him in four pairs of handcuffs. In forty degree frigid water, he escaped in less than three minutes thrilling onlookers. [2] His escape, itself a promotion to help bring attention to the Aquarium's 100 million dollar rehabilitation was widely covered by the media.

In 2011, the Society of American Magicians selected Thomas Solomon to star in the storied "Salute To Magic" which has seen some of magic's greatest names as performers. Solomon combined award-winning escapes and magic into a highly theatrical two-hour show that was reminiscent of a Broadway production. The show was performed at El Teatro—El Museo Del Barrio Theatre, New York City's landmark theatre on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Solomon recently performed live on the Plaza outside for Fox Television network's "Fox and Friends" in which he escaped five pairs of handcuffs in full view of the audience in under one minute. [3]


Solomon also has a fascination with ciphers, codes and other wordplay. He is an amateur cryptographer and commented recently on an article about on-line security in Wired Magazine in which he gave his solution to making passwords more secure. [4] His posters, some images, his promotional decks of playing cards, DVDs and other items often contain hidden messages; some are written in cipher or code. Others are written backwards or worked in with graphics (as in the blue poster). He has used palindromes, recursive acronyms, Morse code and other devices to conceal messages, solutions to an escape, names or important dates related to the image. In a promotional picture for The History Channel taken of him on the New York City subway, there are no less than six hidden images and written messages buried within the picture.

Published works

References and citations

  1. The New York Times , Sunday, March 18, 2012, Metropolitan section, page 2
  2. The Brooklyn Paper, March 22–28, 2012
  3. Fox and Friends, November 25, 2012
  4. Wired, February 2013

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