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No Coffin For Old Men: USA Today Erroneously Kills Off Cormac McCarthy

Image: No Coffin For Old Men: USA Today Erroneously Kills Off Cormac McCarthy
Alive and Kicking: Cormac McCarthy. (Getty Images) 

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Jun 2016 05:51 PM

USA Today made one of the biggest blunders in its 34-year history Tuesday morning when it proclaimed Cormac McCarthy had died of a stroke — even though the Pulitzer Prize-winning author is very much alive and well.

Gannett's national newspaper stunned the literary world as it breathlessly tweeted the "breaking" news that McCarthy, author of "The Road," "No Country for Old Men" and "All the Pretty Horses," was dead at the age of 82. But it didn't attribute the claim to any source.


USA Today later issued an "update" saying it was looking into what it had posted to "verify" its authenticity. Finally, the newspaper announced the whole thing was a hoax that had been picked up from a fake Twitter account.


The Los Angeles Times reports the phony report was the work of Italian educator Tommasso Debenedetti, who's previously tried to fool social media users with fake death reports on the Pope, Fidel Castro, filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and novelist Don DeLillo.

Knopf parent company Penguin Random House, the publisher of McCarthy's books, finally clarified the matter on behalf of the author.




But some fans of McCarthy were fooled by the original "breaking" news item, such as acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates, who tweeted:


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USA Today made one of the biggest blunders in its 34-year history Tuesday morning when it proclaimed Cormac McCarthy had died of a stroke — even though the Pulitzer Prize-winning author is very much alive and well.
usa today, mistakenly, reports, cormac mccarthy, dead
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Tuesday, 28 Jun 2016 05:51 PM
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