Program Details

The "Con Artist" in American History

Myrna Goldberger
History / Law

Course Description

A con artist is simply defined as a person who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true. The characteristics of this person are that he is clever, creative, ambitious, charismatic and without a conscience. In most instances the con artist deals with money or property and he deals with an inner impetus according to the author of Empire of Deception, Dean Jobb. This lecture will focus on some con artists before Bernie Madoff who perfected their techniques for a society that welcomed them. Individuals who will be discussed are Leo Koretz, George Parker, Gaston Means, Barry Minkow, Frank Abagnale and Low Pearlman. What prompted each one to pursue a life of crime? Why did they succeed and why did they ultimately fail? Have we learned from their actions and how did the tempo of the times influence the legend they created?

About the Instructor

  • Myrna Goldberger has been a presenter for 25-plus years. Educated at the University of Maryland, Loyola College and Johns Hopkins University, Goldberger has had more than 50 years of experience in educational programming, including Elderhostel and special function and scholar-in-residence weekends. She currently presents lectures to community and religious groups, as well as to special-interest groups in Florida and other states. Moreover, she performs in self-written, one-act plays focusing on famous American women and men.

    Recipient of the 1999 Excellence in Teaching Award

Upcoming programs presented by Myrna Goldberger.

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