Dunninger traveled in notable circles and was friends with Harry Houdidni, Francis Martinka and The Shadow author, Walter B. Gibson. It has been said that Dunninger was a model for The Shadow, a popular character in the 1930's who used his psychic abilities to fight crime. The Shadow appeared on radio dramas, in pulp magazines and later on comic books. Dunninger was also a pioneer of performers who practiced magic on radio and television shows. His radio career began in 1943 and he was frequently on television during the 1950s and 1960s.