Bar Rooms

News Munchies

Resume Follies Return to Center Stage

By® Staff

Originally Posted

Let's offer an amnesty. If all the famous and near-famous people who are committing plagiarism or lying about their pasts would just admit their misdeeds at the same time, it'd be so much easier for us to follow.

Some are current, some are old, but it's a persistent problem:

  • The U.S. Olympic Committee president, Sandra Baldwin, recently resigned after "a lot of soul-searching," because of "discrepancies" -- that would be lies -- in her academic credentials.

  • New Vanderbilt women's basketball coach Tom Collen bit the dust after only a day on the job, when someone finally checked his inflated resume.

  • And we've already covered George O'Leary, who had precisely 15 minutes of fame as football coach of Notre Dame until lies on his vita were discovered.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author and history professor Joseph Ellis fabricated Vietnam War duties.

  • Historian Stephen Ambrose admitted lifting sentences from other authors without attribution.

  • Doris Kearns Goodwin, too genteel to acknowledge outright theft, admitted that she "borrowed" the writings of other historians.

  • Toronto Blue Jays manager Tim Johnson was fired over combat lies.

  • Former U.S. Rep. Wes Cooley lied in Oregon voters' pamphlets, in which he wrongfully claimed he fought in the Korean War

  • Federal Judge James Ware lied repeatedly about his brother being the victim of a racially motivated killing.

  • The Washington Post actually had to return a Pulitzer Prize won by lying reporter Janet Cooke.


Some years back, the Government Accounting Office found that 38 percent of the information in job candidates' resumes was either lies or fabrications. Ten years earlier, USA Today found roughly the same thing: 36 percent of the information was bogus or exaggerated.

In the current environment, who looks worse? The liar? Or the stupid organization that did the hiring without verifying the information?

Join The Discussion

We will never post your email address publicly; it's used solely as part of our verification process to keep the spammers under control. After submitting your comment or question, you'll receive an email confirmation message with a link back to® that you'll need to click before your post appears for others to see. By submitting this post you agree to the Terms Of Service.