The handsome chief of the Canadian Cherokee had it all: good looks, a great story, and lots of money. Oh, and one other thing: his story was a complete fabrication.
"Chief White Elk" was really Edgar Laplante, a grifter and vaudeville performer who upped his game by pretending to be someone and something he wasn't. And people in the celebrity-obsessed culture of the 1910s and 20s bought it.
The building and busting of Laplante's myth is told in the book King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Imposter.
Author Paul Willetts pieced the story together; he is our guest, by phone from the UK.