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"The Gentleman Thief"

At A Glance
  • Often referred to as "The Gentleman Thief," he first made national news when he pick-pocketed the Secret Service while entertaining a former U.S. President
  • Has expanded the role of misdirection and magic beyond entertainment, pulling back the curtain to show how the principles behind these illusions apply to everyday decision making
  • "An artful manipulator of awareness" - Forbes
  • Produced and co-hosted the National Geographic program Brain Games, which was nominated for an Emmy as an Outstanding Informational Series
  • Among top 20 most-viewed TED talks of all time
  • Profiled by The New Yorker and featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and The Wall Street Journal
"The Gentleman Thief"

Apollo Robbins is an entertainer, speaker and consultant. Often referred to as “The Gentleman Thief,” Robbins first made national news when he pick-pocketed the Secret Service while entertaining a former U.S. President. Forbes called Apollo “an artful manipulator of awareness,” and Wired Magazine has written that “he could steal the wallet of a man who knew he was going to have his pocket picked.”

Robbins has expanded the role of misdirection and magic beyond entertainment, pulling back the curtain to show how the principles behind these illusions apply to everyday decision making. He has been featured in Scientific American Mind and Nature Journal of Science for his collaborative research on attention & perception.

Frequently sought after as a thought leader, Apollo has lectured at a diverse range of institutions, including the Harvard Kennedy School of Business and the Society of Neuroscience. He has been profiled by The New Yorker and featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, National Geographic and The Wall Street Journal. Apollo’s entertainment credits include the long-running TNT series Leverage and the Warner Brothers blockbuster movie Focus with Will Smith.

He produced and co-hosted the National Geographic Channel program Brain Games, which was nominated for an Emmy as an Outstanding Informational Series. His guest appearance on the TODAY show is a YouTube favorite at more than 8 million views.

The TED editors described Robbins’ popular talk as “a revelation in the flaws of human perception.” It is currently among the 20 most-viewed TED talks of all time.

Apollo’s talks & workshops feature interactive demonstrations using pickpocketing, magic, and theatrical con games to illustrate complex concepts from cognitive science, social psychology, and behavioral economics. TED has asked Apollo to debut his new workshop “The Illusion of Knowledge” at TED’s main event in Vancouver in 2017.

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