Found in a sensational crime paperback The Big Con (Pocket Books, NY 1949) a press cutting dated 1975 - the obituary of an amazing conman/ hustler/grifter Joseph Weil (1875-1975). He seems to have been the first to put forth the idea (often mentioned in the TV series Hustle) that 'you can't con an honest man.' It is possible that their character Albert Stroller (Robert Vaughn) the elderly 'roper' responsible for ensnaring potential marks, is based on Weil. There is an exhaustive profile of Stroller at Wikipedia with no mention of any influences but useful info such as '...he cannot go to Indonesia as he sold the air force some fighter jets in the '70s, and they still haven't arrived.' Weil's comments on bankers are especially prescient..
Joseph (Yellow Kid) Weil, 100, Leading U. S. Trickster in '20s. From Wire Dispatches Chicago, Feb 27- 1975.
Joseph (Yellow Kid) Weil, 100, the 1920s confidence artist whose con schemes netted him an estimated $8 million, died yesterday in a convalescent home. For nearly three years, the fragile little man had been a welfare patient, living out his life on the memories of his heyday, when his canary-yellow gloves, cravats and suits, yellow calling cards and autos, yellowish red hair and golden whiskers made him an international figure. "If I had to do it all over again, I would be foolish if I didn't," Weil told an interviewer last summer on his 100th birthday . "I don't feel a day over 70. I still like to look at the ladies and take a sip of wine. I like to listen to the radio, but I'll be damned if I'll play bingo with the rest round here. It's a ripoff."