Those were the words of Stanley Clifford Weyman, born in Brooklyn in 1890, who spent his life as a fabulist who pretended to be other people.
He didn’t always get away with it. But after every arrest, he returned to a life of impersonating others.
Weyman first pretended to be the U.S. counsel representative of Morocco. Arrested for fraud, he then claimed to be a diplomat, a lieutenant, and the Romanian counsel general.
Caught again at his own fancy dinner party at the posh Hotel Astor, he was jailed for a year and paroled by 1920.
Next he convinced an Algerian princess into giving him $10,000; she thought he was a state department official who could get her an appointment with President Harding. He pulled it off (that’s him on the left in the photo)—but got snagged anyway.
In the 1940s, “he operated a school in draft-dodging in Brooklyn, where he trained his students in feigning feeblemindedness before draft boards,” wrote The New York Times in 1960.
The amazing thing is that after decades of compulsive impersonation, he apparently made a go of living a straight life after his final prison sentence, for forgery, in the 1950s.
In 1960, Weyman was working at a hotel in Yonkers; it was held up one night. He tried to intervene and was shot to death.
Eight years later, he was the subject of a fascinating article in The New Yorker titled “The Big Little Man From Brooklyn.”