American Zionist leader Stephen S. Wise lied repeatedly on his United States passport applications forms for decades. Following is the proof.
A four-month-old Stephen S. Wise, then called Stephan Weiss, arrived in New York on August 11, 1875 aboard the S.S. Gellert from Hamburg, Germany. Accompanied by his mother Sabina Weiss, two sisters Ida and Ilma, his brother Otto, a woman named Helena Billitz, and an 8-month-old girl named Adele Billitz, who was, almost certainly, the "adopted child" named Adele Billitz of Sabina and Aaron Weiss, listed on this 1880 Federal Census.
Wise was evidently born in 1875, but it is claimed he was born on March 17, 1874. He often claimed he was born March 17, 1872, although he also claimed he was born March 17, 1874 as well.
1. On a passport application completed 29.05.1893, Wise claimed he was born on 17.03.1872 in Vienna, Austria2. On a passport application completed 18.07.1898, Wise claimed he was born on 17.03.1872 in Vienna, Austria
3. On a passport application completed 03.03.1904, Wise claimed he was born on 17.03.1872 in Budapest, Hungary
4. On a passport application completed 21.03.1913, Wise claimed he was born on 17.03.1872 in Budapest, Hungary
5. On a passport application completed 05.06.1922, Wise claimed he was born on 17.03.1874 in Budapest*
Other details such as when he or his father arrived in the United States also vary on the above forms, although such details could be forgiven as mere errors, but a man who had both an MA and PhD, can't be so easily excused for the getting his own place and year of birth wrong so many times.
In the Federal Census from June 2, 1900, Stephen S. Wise's year of birth is declared as 1872, and place of birth declared to be Austria.
Henry, a regular and valued commenter on this blog, has pointed out here some of the inconsistencies and interesting facts about the Wise (nee Weiss) family history.
* This application is a five pages long in total, they can be viewed on the links below: