Janet Cooke's article in the Washington Post
about 'Jimmy,' an 8-year-old heroin addict, won her a Pulitzer Prize. But pressure mounted for Cooke to reveal where Jimmy lived so that authorities could help him. As Cooke steadfastly refused to do this, rumors began to swirl suggesting there was no Jimmy. Finally, the editors at the Post
confronted Cooke and demanded she provide proof of the boy's existence. Cooke then admitted that she had never met Jimmy and that much of her story was fictitious. Cooke resigned, and the Post
, humiliated by the incident, returned the Pulitzer Prize.
Hoaxes of the 1980s