Pseudologia Fantastica: A Brief 21st Century History of Résumé Fraud
Feb 2006: RadioShack CEO David Edmondson steps down after it is discovered that he did not receive two educational degrees which he listed on his résumé.
Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown is jettisoned by the Bush Administration in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Shortly afterward, serious questions are raised about the integrity of his résumé. Among other things, Brown purported to have been the director of a nursing home that had no record of his employment. He also claimed to have been a distinguished professor at a college where he was only a student
University of Colorado at Boulder Professor Ward Churchill resigns as chair of the ethnic studies department after his longstanding claims of Native American ancestry prove bogus. Churchill also falsely claimed to have served in an elite U.S. Army unit in Vietnam.
U.S. Olympic Committee President Sandra Baldwin resigns after admitting she had never received a doctorate in American Literature – an achievement she listed on her résumé.
Fox News military affairs commentator Lt. Colonel Joseph Cafasso is unmasked as a phony who invented an exciting military résumé "in order to make friends, find work, and . . . find acceptance among people who walk the fringes of Washington's power corridors." In reality, Private First Class Cafasso never saw combat.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patrick Couwenberg is removed from the bench for falsely claiming to have fought in Vietnam and worked for the CIA. He also told an attorneys group that he attended college on the GI Bill and had a shrapnel wound in his groin. Couwenberg blamed the lies on a mental condition called "pseudologia fantastica.''
Notre Dame football coach George O'Leary resigns after five days on the job, when a background check revealed he didn't have a degree in education from NYU and had never played college football. O'Leary claimed to have earned three letters as a football standout in New Hampshire. In reality, he never even played a game.
Lotus Development Corp. CEO Jeffrey Papows resigns after he's caught fudging his biographical details. Papows claimed to have PhD from Pepperdine (he has a Master's), claimed to hold a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (he was a red belt) and claimed to be an orphan (his parents live in New England).
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