History and Historiography

G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate mastermind, dead at 90

By Will Lester, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — G. Gordon Liddy, a mastermind of the Watergate burglary and a radio talk show host after emerging from prison, died Tuesday at age 90 at his daughter’s home in Virginia.

His son, Thomas Liddy, confirmed the death but did not reveal the cause, other than to say it was not related to COVID-19.

Liddy, a former FBI agent and Army veteran, was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping for his role in the Watergate burglary, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. He spent four years and four months in prison, including more than 100 days in solitary confinement.

“I’d do it again for my president,” he said years later.

Liddy was outspoken and controversial as a political operative under Nixon. He recommended assassinating political enemies, bombing a left-leaning think tank and kidnapping war protesters. His White House colleagues ignored such suggestions.

One of his ventures — the break-in at Democratic headquarters at the Watergate building in June 1972 — was approved. The burglary went awry, which led to an investigation, a cover-up and Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

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