It was inevitable: Alan Abel’s obituary would mention that this was not his first.
The “professional hoaxer” — who first got his death notice into the New York Times in 1980 — is now actually dead.
The Times reports that the former Westporter died Friday, in Southbury. He was 94.
Abel was a jazz drummer, stand-up comic, writer, campus lecturer and filmmaker, the Times said. The paper also called him “a master psychologist, keen strategist and possessor of an enviable deadpan and a string of handy aliases.”
Among his hoaxes: creating the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, which purported to want to put clothes on horses, cows, dogs and cats. He also created the fictitious Yetta Bronstein, a Jewish grandmother from the Bronx, who “ran for president” in 1964 advocating fluoridation, national bingo tournaments and truth serum for congressional water fountains.
Following the Watergate scandal, he hired an actor to pose as Deep Throat. The press conference drew 150 reporters.
Alan Abel is — finally, irrevocably — dead. But his website lives on.
(Click here for the full New York Times obituary. Hat tip: John Karrel)