The author responsible for one of the all-time classic literary hoaxes has died at the age of 87.
Clifford Irving published 20 novels, but is best know for an “autobiography” allegedly written as told to Irving by billionaire recluse Howard Hughes. The work was scheduled for publication in 1972 but was halted after Hughes denounced him and sued the publisher.
Irving confessed to the hoax, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and ended up serving 17 months.
Irving subsequently wrote “The Hoax” in 1981 which was his take on the events surrounding the fake Hughes autobiography. It was adapted into a bio-pic of the same name in 2006 starring Richard Gere.
Irving died in a Florida hospice of liver cancer.