“Jon Dorenbos is a magical person. Life Is Magic shows how we can all choose happiness in the face of overwhelming odds.” —Ellen DeGeneres
An extraordinary and empowering story of resilience, forgiveness, and living a life of purpose in the face of unfathomable obstacles.
You may know him as an NFL All-Pro or as a world-class magician who made the finals of America’s Got Talent, but Jon Dorenbos says that what he does is not who he is. He is someone who coached himself, at the most tender of ages, to turn tragedy to triumph.
One morning in August 1992, when Jon was twelve years old and living a seemingly idyllic childhood in suburban Seattle, he woke up for baseball camp. His dad waved goodbye. Later that day, Jon heard the news: his father had murdered his mother in the family’s three-car garage. In an instant, his life had shattered. He’d essentially been orphaned.
Thrust into foster care while his father stood trial for murder, Jon struggled. Left to himself, he discovered an unlikely escape performing magic tricks. If you found a way to alter your reality, after your dad—your hero—killed your mom, wouldn’t you cling to it too? Then came football, which provided a release for all of his pent-up anger. Together, magic and football saved him, leading to fourteen NFL seasons on the gridiron and raucous sleight of hand performances to packed houses across the globe. In 2017, he was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition leaving him with a choice. To either break down or—as he’d by now long taught himself—bounce back.
“Life Is Magic shows how we can all choose happiness in the face of overwhelming odds” (Ellen DeGeneres) and provides a roadmap for overcoming even the darkest of times. Jon’s story is poignant and powerful, told by a charismatic and optimistic man who has overcome life-or-death challenges with grace, persistence, a childlike sense of wonder…and jaw-dropping card tricks.