Retired magician, LGBTQ advocate, and champion skeptic of the paranormal, James Randi (born 1928 as Randall James Hamilton Zwinge) was known to millions by his stage name The Amazing Randi.
In 1972, he publicly discredited spoon-bending magician Uri Geller, whom Randi accused of defrauding audiences with his claims of telekinetic powers. Four years later, in 1976, James Randi and others (including Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan) used the proceeds of their successful Skeptical Inquirer magazine to co-found the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), which made Randi the worldwide face and father of the modern skeptical movement.
CSICOP later chartered the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) in 1996, which drew notoriety for its campaign to offer one million dollars to anyone objectively demonstrating “legitimate” supernatural abilities while running a gauntlet of scientific testing. In 2001, celebrity psychic Sylvia Browne answered the challenge Randi had made while guesting on Larry King Live but, after just six months, Browne lost her nerve and backed out of the challenge, landing a major victory for the JREF and skeptical inquirers everywhere.
James Randi has also used his reputation in the cause of civil rights. In 2010, at the age of 81, Randi publicly outed himself as a gay man, and eventually married his long-time partner, Jose Alvarez, in 2013. In an interview with him about his coming out, Randi discussed the role that pseudoscience has played in the condemnation of progressive causes such as marriage equality, extolling skeptical enquiry as yet another means to deconstruct the myths that lead to discrimination and bigotry.
For these reasons, Pacific Paranormal Investigations proudly recognizes James Randi, the preeminent skeptical thinker of our times.
Learn more about James Randi at the official website of the JREF: http://web.randi.org/.