In the tradition of inspirational bestsellers by Glennon Doyle Melton and Brené Brown, Life Is Magic is Jon Dorenbos’s extraordinary and empowering true 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. Who he is is someone forced, at the most tender of ages, to coach himself into turning 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 good-bye. 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 been essentially 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, traded to the New Orleans Saints, Jon was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition. He had a choice: Break down? Or—as he’d by now long taught himself—bounce back? “Talk to yourself, don’t listen to yourself,” Dorenbos advises for those moments when, facing seemingly insurmountable odds, the inner voice of self-doubt screams.
In Life Is Magic, Jon Dorenbos draws a roadmap for how to shut that voice up by choosing happiness. At his darkest times, he writes, he’s learned lessons of love, forgiveness and perseverance. His story is poignant and powerful, told by a charismatic and optimistic man who has overcome life and death challenges with grace, persistence, a child-like sense of wonder...and jaw-dropping card tricks.
Jon Dorenbos is a former professional football player, a world-class magician, and a sought-after keynote and motivational speaker for Fortune 500 companies. A special team long-snapper, he played fourteen seasons in the NFL, appearing in the Pro Bowl twice. In his parallel career as a magician, he was a finalist on season eleven of America’s Got Talent and appears frequently on The Ellen Show. He and his wife Annalise reside in Huntington Beach, California.