Apollo Robbins
"The Gentleman Thief"
Call 424.288.2898

Biography Print Bio

Apollo Robbins is a speaker, consultant, performer, and a pioneer in the application of deception to real world environments.

Formerly known as “The Gentleman Thief,” Robbins first made national news as the man who pick-pocketed the Secret Service while entertaining U.S. president Jimmy Carter. Forbes called him “an artful manipulator of awareness,” and Wired Magazine reported that “he could steal the wallet of a man who knew he was going to have his pocket picked.”

For those who know Robbins only from the mischief of his signature pickpocketing & sleight-of-hand abilities, his thought-provoking presentations – which take the audience on an immersive journey where their attention is hijacked and their foundation of reality is called into question – can be a pleasant surprise.  Robbins expands the roles of misdirection and magic beyond entertainment, using their underpinning in deception design and attention management as an effective tool to covertly teach critical thinking and perception.

Frequently sought after as a thought leader, Robbins 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, Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal.  Robbins’ entertainment credits include the long-running TNT series Leverage and the Warner Brothers blockbuster Focus with Will Smith.  He produced and co-hosted the National Geographic program Brain Games, which was nominated for an Emmy as an Outstanding Informational Series. His popular appearance on The Today Show is a YouTube favorite at more than 8 million views. The TED editors described Robbins’ presentation at TED Global 2013  (among its 20 most-viewed talks) as a revelation in the flaws of human perception.  

Speech Topics

  • The Pros & Cons of FOCUS
    This entertaining and informative keynote by Apollo demonstrates how easily your attention can be used against you. Whether it's the market, your business or your personal life, your focus comes at a cost...often an opportunity cost. The man described by The New Yorker as "the best pick pocket in the world" uses his unique set of skills to show you the vulnerabilities of focus.
Official Site
Article: A Pickpocket's Tale
Video: Apollo Robbins On Focus
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