Hello. I’m Clifford Irving. I was once on the cover of Time Magazine, and Hollywood made a movie about part of my life. Richard Gere played me.
I traveled twice around the world before most people living in it today were born, stood guard in an Israeli kibbutz, crewed on a 56' three-masted schooner that sailed the Atlantic from Mexico to France, smuggled whisky from Tangier to Spain, and one spring I lived on a houseboat on Dal Lake in Kashmir from where I rode horseback intoTibet.
Growing up in Manhattan, I studied painting at the High School of Music & Art. At Cornell University I chased beautiful but unconquerable Ivy League coeds, rowed on the crew, and dreamed of becoming a great writer. I sailed to Europe, settled on the decadent Mediterranean island of Ibiza, and wrote my first novel. I sent it to a literary agent in New York. G. P. Putnam’s Sons published it.
Was it really as easy and as quick as that? Of course not. I was lucky. And determined.
I taught at UCLA graduate extension school, with Betsy Drake and Cary Grant among my pupils. I became a correspondent to the Middle East for NBC. And I kept writing books.
In 1970, I created a writing event which became the Howard Hughes Autobiography Hoax. Many believe that the threat of the book’s publication, with its revelations of the Hughes-Nixon bribes, caused Nixon to approve the Watergate break-in.
My reward in 1972 for these accusations (and lunacy) was 16 months in three federal prisons.
Over time I wrote write 20 books that were published to varying degrees of success in many languages. (In the USA by Putnam, McGraw-Hill, and Simon & Schuster.)
Almost all of my books are on Nook and Kindle, and at affordable prices: $2.99 to $5.99. That’s cheaper than a paperback and a lot cheaper than a movie. A good read is one of the amazing pleasures offered to us by civilization.
“Move over, Butch and Sundance, it’s not that I love you both less, just that I’ve come to love Pancho and Tom more”– so said the New York Times Book Review about “Tom Mix and Pancho Villa,” which I believe is my best book, although “Trial,” by far, followed by “Daddy’s Girl,” and “Final Argument” – all legal thrillers – are the top sellers.
My manuscripts, notes, journals and correspondence are stored permanently at the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, which acquired the archive in 2013.