Photo of Cormac McCarthy at the premiere of The Road (Getty Images)

Cormac McCarthy, author of such utopian sci-fi novels as The Road, didn’t die today at 82 from a stroke. But that didn’t stop the death hoax rumors from getting tweeted out by respected news outlets like USA Today.

The rumors started with a tweet by Italian journalist Tommasso Debenedetti, a man Business Insider has described as “shadowy,” given his efforts to affect global markets with his tweets. From there, the rumor took on a life of its own.

David Mack, an editor at BuzzFeed, reports that McCarthy’s agent and publisher both say that the author is alive and well.

Just 15 minutes after USA Today’s original tweet, the outlet stated: “We are looking into the report to verify its authenticity.” They probably should’ve done that before tweeting.

Remember kids, never tweet.

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Update 11:02AM: USA Today has issue a correction on Twitter: