Ferdinand Waldo Demara was born in 1921 in the US state of Massachusetts. His father, the owner of a small private theater, could not give his son a good education, but despite this, Ferdinand strove all his life to break into people, sometimes he had to go to such tricks that even the great schemer Ostap Bender would envy.
Demara reasoned like this: if you failed to get an education, then you can simply forge documents. With false diplomas, he managed to work as an engineer at a construction site, a lawyer, and a teacher. But the pinnacle of Demara's career was serving on the Canadian destroyer Cayuga as a ship surgeon. The doctor's diploma, of course, was also "fake". Ferdinand presented documents in the name of the surgeon Joseph Kire. By the way, such a doctor really existed, and worked in one of the clinics in New Brunswick.
In the early fifties of the last century, the destroyer took part in the Korean War, and the self-taught surgeon had a chance to fully demonstrate his abilities. During one of the battles, 16 crew members were seriously injured. And since Demara was the only surgeon on the Cayuga, he had to operate on the wounded.
He ordered to send the victims to the operating room, and he himself locked himself in a cabin with a textbook on surgery. After leafing through the textbook, the impostor doctor boldly took up the scalpel. The almost impossible happened - none of the 16 operated on died, and many newspapers published articles about the valiant surgeon. Here the embarrassment happened - one of the newspapers was read by the mother of Joseph Kaira.
The swindler was exposed, however, the captain of the destroyer stubbornly did not want to believe that the man who saved many lives had the most vague idea about medicine. They did not even start a criminal case against Demara, and he was able to return home without hindrance.
But it became much more difficult to impersonate other people, because now many knew about Ferdinand. He got a job as a psychologist in one of the prisons, out of old habit, forging a diploma. Soon he was fired from his job with a scandal, as one of the prisoners recalled that he had read in a magazine about a "surgeon" who was very similar to a prison psychologist.
I had to think about a real diploma. Only at the age of 46, Demara received his first real education certificate - he graduated from the Bible College in Portland and became a priest in one of the hospitals. Ferdinand Waldo Demara died in 1982 from heart failure.