One of his top ten literary hoaxes, as shared at the Guardian:
Clifford Irving – Autobiography of Howard Hughes (1971)Read about the other entries on the list.
In 1970 the novelist Clifford Irving and his friend Richard Suskind cooked up a plan to write the ‘autobiography’ of Howard Hughes, who had completely withdrawn from public life since the late 1950s. Irving had form in these grey areas, having written a biography of the Hungarian art forger Elmyr de Hory entitled Fake! (1969). Forging documents bearing Hughes’s signature, Irving and Suskind secured large advances before being rumbled post-publication when the reclusive Hughes gave a press conference. Irving served 17 months for fraud. His story was featured in Orson Welles’s final film F for Fake! and he gave his own version of events in his book The Hoax (1981), made into a film starring Richard Gere.