The Most Famous Plagiarizer: A Ranking of Notorious Cases

Choose the plagiarizer you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 22, 2024 07:17
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! We've got a hot topic for you today - "Who is the most famous plagiarizer?" It's time to dive into the murky waters of plagiarism and cast your vote for the most notorious copycat. From renowned authors to iconic musicians and even world leaders, our list features some surprising names who've been accused of stealing ideas and passing them off as their own. Will your favorite plagiarizer climb up the ranks or be dethroned? You decide! And if you think we've missed a major contender, don't hesitate to suggest an addition. Let the battle of the copycats commence, and may the most infamous plagiarizer take the crown!

Who Is the Most Famous Plagiarizer?

  1. 1
    The First Lady of the United States faced accusations of plagiarizing parts of her speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.
    Melania Trump in other rankings
  2. 2
    Martin Luther King Jr.
    Nobel Foundation · Public domain

    Martin Luther King Jr.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
    The civil rights leader was accused of plagiarizing parts of his doctoral dissertation and other academic papers.
    Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent civil rights activist and leader in the United States during the mid-20th century. He is best known for his role in advancing civil rights through nonviolent methods and delivering the iconic 'I Have a Dream' speech, which called for racial equality. King was an influential figure in the fight against discrimination and segregation, and his legacy continues to inspire individuals around the world.
    • Date of Birth: January 15, 1929
    • Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
    • Education: Ph.D. in Systematic Theology
    • Key Achievements: Nobel Peace Prize (1964), Montgomery Bus Boycott, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965
    • Leadership Style: Nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience
    Martin Luther King Jr. in other rankings
  3. 3
    Joe Biden
    Adam Schultz · Public domain

    Joe Biden

    Joe Biden
    The current President of the United States was accused of plagiarizing a speech by Neil Kinnock during his 1988 presidential campaign.
    Joe Biden is an American politician who currently serves as the 46th President of the United States. He previously served as the 47th Vice President of the United States under President Barack Obama. Biden is affiliated with the Democratic Party and has a long political career spanning several decades.
    • Political Party: Democratic Party
    • Current Role: President of the United States
    • Previous Role: Vice President of the United States
    • Presidential Term: 2021-present
    • Vice Presidential Term: 2009-2017
    Joe Biden in other rankings
  4. 4

    J.K. Rowling

    J.K. Rowling
    The author of the Harry Potter series was accused of plagiarizing parts of her book "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" from Adrian Jacobs' book "The Adventures of Willy the Wizard."
    J.K. Rowling is a highly successful British author best known for creating the Harry Potter franchise. Her books have gained worldwide popularity, selling more than 500 million copies and being translated into multiple languages. The Harry Potter series has been adapted into a highly successful film franchise, with a total gross of over $7 billion. Rowling's writing has captivated audiences of all ages and continues to have a significant cultural impact.
    • Books Sold: Over 500 million
    • Languages Translated: Multiple
    • Film Adaptations: 8 movies in the Harry Potter series
    • Total Film Gross: Over $7 billion
    • Cultural Impact: Significant
    J.K. Rowling in other rankings
  5. 5
    Quentin Tarantino
    Gage Skidmore · CC BY-SA 3.0
    The filmmaker was accused of plagiarizing scenes and dialogue from various films for his movie "Kill Bill."
    Quentin Tarantino in other rankings
  6. 6
    The actor was accused of plagiarizing a short film he made called "" from a comic by Daniel Clowes.
    Shia LaBeouf in other rankings
  7. 7
    The author of the book "Roots" was accused of plagiarizing parts of his work from Harold Courlander's book "The African."
    Alex Haley in other rankings
  8. 8
    The activist and author was accused of plagiarizing parts of her autobiography from various sources.
    Helen Keller in other rankings
  9. 9
    James Frey
    Rhododendrites · CC BY-SA 4.0
    The author of the book "A Million Little Pieces" was accused of fabricating parts of his memoir, which led to Oprah Winfrey publicly denouncing him on her show.
    James Frey in other rankings
  10. 10
    The journalist for The New York Times was fired after it was discovered that he had plagiarized and fabricated parts of his articles.

Missing your favorite plagiarizer?


Ranking factors for famous plagiarizer

  1. Notoriety
    How well-known is the individual for their act of plagiarism? Did their case receive significant media attention or become a public scandal?
  2. Impact of Plagiarism
    What was the scale and significance of the plagiarized work? Did it involve high-profile projects, influential publications, or important intellectual property?
  3. Intent
    Was the act of plagiarism intentional or accidental? Did the plagiarizer display remorse or take responsibility for their actions?
  4. Repercussions
    What were the consequences or penalties faced by the plagiarizer? Did they experience legal action, professional repercussions (e.g., firing or loss of reputation), or academic consequences (e.g., expulsion)?
  5. Cultural Significance
    Did the plagiarism case intersect with larger cultural or societal issues? Did it spark conversations or debates about art, journalism, academia, or ethics?
  6. Historical Legacy
    Has the plagiarizer's story endured over time? Is it still referenced or studied as an example of plagiarism?

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous plagiarizer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or plagiarist is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 201 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each plagiarist once every 24 hours. The rank of each plagiarist is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most famous plagiarizer

Plagiarism is a serious offense in the world of academia and creative industries. It refers to the act of using someone else's work, ideas or words without giving proper credit or permission. While many people have been accused of plagiarism, some have gained notoriety for repeatedly plagiarizing others' work. In this section, we will explore some of the most famous plagiarizers in history, highlighting their actions and the impact it had on their careers and reputation. From politicians to musicians, this list includes some of the most notorious individuals who have been accused of stealing someone else's work.

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