In the early 1970s, University of Minnesota chemical engineer Rutherford Aris received a letter from Who’s Who in America requesting a biography of “Aris Rutherford.” Aris wrote back, explaining their mistake, but the requests kept coming. So in 1974 Aris gamely sent in a biography of Aris Rutherford:
- Born in Scotland, he earned a degree in 1948 from the Glenlivet Institute of Distillation Engineering.
- In 1955 he became the chief design engineer and tester for the Strath Spey Distillation Company.
- From 1960 to 1964, he was a visiting professor of distillation practice at the Technological Institute of the Aegean, in Corinth.
- He was active in the Distillation Club of Edinburgh and wrote three books, including Distillation Procedures (1963).
The news media quickly learned of the hoax, and Who’s Who cut the entry in the following year’s edition. That’s a pity, Aris said — his alter ego was about to publish another book, American Baseball: A Guide for Interested Englishmen.