I've received independent confirmations as to the authorship of Notepad, so I'm inclined to believe it. Sorry you didn't get to go to the award ceremony.
The original author of Notepad also served as the development manager for Windows 95. His job was to herd the cats that made up the programmers who worked on Windows 95, a job which you can imagine falls into the "not easy" category.
After Windows 95, he retired from the software industry and became a high school science teacher. At a social event some years later, I met him again and asked about the transition from software development manager to high school science teacher.
His response: "You'd be surprised how many of the skills transfer."