For immediate release
August 16, 2006
Chad Campbell, NPR


Essay Examines Copperfield’s Belief in the Gift of Kindness

Washington, D.C.; August 16, 2006; Renowned illusionist David Copperfield discusses his father’s influence and the impact of kindness in an essay for the NPR series This I Believe airing on All Things Considered, Monday, August 21. Inspired by newsman Edward R. Murrow’s 1950’s radio program of the same name, This I Believe features Americans from all walks of life expressing their core beliefs and values in short, personal essays.

Copperfield’s increasing belief in the importance of kindness began with his father, who passed away a week before Copperfield wrote his essay. Referring to his father, Copperfield says, “he practiced kindness to everyone, including people he didn’t know, and people he knew too well. For my father, being kind was natural...I have to really work at it. I love competing and winning, conquest—not words you usually associate with kindness.”

Dubbed by the U.S. Library of Congress as a “Living Legend”, Copperfield is one of the world’s most well-known illusionists. He began his professional magic career at the age of 12. He has made the Statue of Liberty disappear and walked through the Great Wall of China. In 1982, Copperfield founded Project Magic, a rehabilitation program to help disabled patients regain lost or damaged dexterity skills.

Copperfield joins an impressive list of well-known essayists who have contributed to the series since its premiere on April 4, 2005, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell; Senator John McCain; Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; skateboarding icon Tony Hawk; magician Penn Jillette; activist Gloria Steinem; author John Updike; psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison and scientist Brian Greene.

This I Believe also features the work of NPR listeners who have submitted nearly 15,000 essays ranging from revelations about parents, personal struggles, race and identity to the importance of feeding monkeys.

This I Believe essay writing has been incorporated into the activities of schools, community groups, places of worship and even birthday celebrations. Essays have also been read or played at weddings and funerals. The series is a collaboration between NPR and This I Believe, Inc., Dan Gediman and Jay Allison, producers.

Check for stations and times of All Things Considered. To date, This I Believe essays have ranked among the top e-mailed stories on To listen or to read past essays please visit