George P. Burdell was created by William Edgar “Ed” Smith. Smith conceived the idea for Burdell when he received two Georgia Tech enrollment forms.
After enrolling him, Smith signed Burdell up for all the same classes he had. Smith would do all schoolwork twice, changing it slightly to avoid professors catching his sham. When he had a test, he would take it twice and then turn it in under both names. By 1930, the school had awarded Burdell a bachelor’s degree, and a few years later awarded the fictitious student a master’s degree.