The great and noble impostor

The great and noble imposterPhotos from open sources of

People do not become swindlers, they are born as such. True, not all of them embark on the criminal path, many successfully use their abilities in business or just in love adventures, but often from them turn inveterate scammers. Who does not know, for example, the great combinator Victor Lustig, who managed to sell the Eiffel Tower of Paris for scrap twice.

Among the most prominent scammers in the world is Ferdinand Demar, who was even nicknamed the “Great Imposter.” Unlike other famous swindlers, he, having no education, managed to conscientiously work in the role of many graduates specialists, even to be in the shoes of a surgeon making successful operations. At the same time, his employers and patients were pleased with him and his services, and Demara himself did not extract from this fraud practically no material benefit, except perhaps a salary, necessary for him to exist.

The formation of an impostor

Born in the family of the owner of a small theater (1921, state Massachusetts, USA) Ferdinand Demara immediately showed himself as a gifted boy and … a great idler, not wanting to achieve set goals to make great efforts. But he literally I caught everything on the fly, had a phenomenal memory, differed courage and inclination to adventures. In order not to study and not to work, he goes to a monastery in his teens that became his first adventurous trick, but soon the young man realized that humility and an ascetic lifestyle are not for him.

A photo from open sources

And then Demara decided to go into the military, and the role of a soldier, dreaming of becoming a general, he was not happy with anything, and therefore he posing as another, immediately becoming an officer. Talent helped him to feel in this role is just superb, so cheating isn’t was spotted. True, Ferdinand himself was soon bored army discipline, and he defected from a military unit.

Having bought a psychologist’s diploma, he got a job as a teacher at a college, and he gave his lectures so talentedly that they were pleased with him and students and school management. And this is despite the fact that all his knowledge Demara received by studying books at night on psychology. In college, he found everything he wanted: a good job, decent salary, respect and even a certain fame, even in narrow circles. But thunder struck – they found him as a deserter and sentenced to a year and a half in prison.

A self-appointed doctor is for life

Released, Ferdinand Demara tried himself in many more professions, for example, civil engineer, expert of the Defense Service children, deputy sheriff, lawyer, editor, head of the prison, cancer specialist and others. Surprisingly, however, he never looked with this great material gain, I was simply content with or other social status, worked conscientiously and honestly. True … quickly cooled to the chosen cause, and therefore soon changed it to the following. Sometimes disappointed in the profession and in people, the great impostor again went to the monastery, where once meets a young and talented doctor Joseph Syrah, who literally infected Ferdinand with his passion for medicine.

A photo from open sources

And Demara decided to become a doctor, and therefore soon entered the service in the navy of canada under the name of Joseph Syrah, having received the rank of lieutenant of the medical service. And all would be well, because it was not difficult for Demar to treat the sailors for flu, runny nose and indigestion, based on knowledge, obtained from directories. But then the Korean War broke out (started in 1950), and the imaginary Joseph is sent to serve ship’s doctor for the destroyer Kayuga. Work has become more difficult, but here Demara, thanks to his ability to catch everything on the fly and learn in one night whole volumes, successfully coping with his responsibilities.

But war is war, and once on board the Kayuga entered sixteen seriously wounded sailors. Demara didn’t even blink eye, examined the victims, ordered the nurses to prepare them for operations, and he studied all night, how and in what sequence all this is done. And the next morning Ferdinand began to operate. Doctors before still question this feat of Demar, however there is a fact fact, all sixteen sailors recovered after operations, continued their service and were grateful to the ship’s doctor all my life Joseph Sira.

True, the imaginary name played a cruel joke this time with Demar. Glory about the exploit of a young ship doctor thanks to journalists flew around the whole world and … reached the mother of Joseph Syrah, who knew perfectly that her son is in a monastery. Scandal erupted in Demar’s ultimately was dismissed from the ship, however, wind up against him the criminal case did not – he actually did a great job and was a true hero.

A photo from open sources

The tragedy of the good-natured impostor

After that, Demara tried himself many more times as or other specialist, but a better fate than that when he was a “real doctor,” he never experienced again. By the way, once to him offered to play the role of a surgeon in the film. Great acting in real life, Demara coped poorly with the stage role, why it can be argued that the great impostor could become who anything but an artist.

Once, Ferdinand came up with the idea of ​​making money on to talk about all his adventures in the press. He agreed with Life magazine about such a publication, and his fascinating story was printed. However, this did not bring Demarau any particular glory, nor more means of coexistence, only hurt. For example, somehow he got a good job in a Texas jail but one of prisoners found in the old Life magazine that ill-fated article with a photograph of Ferdinand, and the alleged specialist is nearly planted again behind bars.

In recent years, Demar has become increasingly difficult to live under fictitious names, especially since Robert Criston was about him the book “The Great Imposter” was written, according to which a year later it was filmed film of the same name (starring Tony Curtis, see the film below is in English). However, such a glory to himself she brought nothing to the great impostor but grief and disappointments, he begins to drink a lot, and in 1982 he dies from cardiac arrest.

In the future, everyone who knew Demar personally, constantly criticized and a book and a film about the great impostor, and especially the game in Curtis’s movie, which was completely different from the real one Ferdinand, even physique. Demara was strong and full, weighed almost one hundred and sixty kilograms, and was distinguished by a great sense of smell and good nature, which Tony also could not convey from the screen …

War Life

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