Harry Houdini was an artist and a showman.
There is no question about his skill and expertise as a magician and escape artist. There is much debate about his death, though.
Many thought that he died of a ruptured appendix due to several blows to the stomach from a college student in his dressing room. People thought that this ruptured his appendix from the punches, perhaps.
There is much debate as to what transpired prior to Houdini getting punched. Some said that the student had permission from Houdini, himself, to test his strength and ability to handle the punches. Others said that no permission was granted and the blows caught him off guard.
If you read the explanation of his final hours here, you’ll see how debatable this could all become from the perspectives of those around Houdini. What is not debatable, is how Houdini died. Houdini had many occasions where people said that he should be rushed straight to the hospital. He refused help again and again. He even went on with shows that were planned, even if he couldn’t finish them on his own strength. Houdini had to basically be ‘forced’ to see a doctor, who told him again that he needed to be hospitalized.
Houdini ultimately died because of his own unwillingness to accept help and advice from others. He died because he was supposed to be able to “handle it,” and yet, couldn’t admit that he was unable. This man of strength and cleverness died from his own weak spot. He died from his pride.